Tag Archives: family history

Additional Military Records released by TheGenealogist

TheGenealogist has released some useful records this week for those who are researching their military ancestors. Here is the press release that gives you more information and a link to a fascinating article:

Military Records on TheGenealogist

TheGenealogist is pleased to announce it has added two new record sets that will be useful for researching the First World War and Victorian soldiers.

  • Part one of this release is The Worldwide Army Index for 1851, 1861 and 1871 which adds another name rich resource to the already vast Military record collections at TheGenealogist with over 600,000 records
  • Also released at the same time is another 3,368 pages from The Illustrated War News covering 6 September 1916 to 10 April 1918 and adding to those previously made available for this First World War paper from 1914 to 1916

The Worldwide Army Index for 1851, 1861 and 1871

If you have not found your ancestor in the various British census returns, and you know that they may have been serving at the time in the British Army, then this new release from TheGenealogist may help you to find these elusive subjects.

Many thousands of men of the British Army were serving overseas in far flung parts of the British Empire over the 1800s. This index of names is compiled from the musters contained in the WO 10-11-12 Series of War Office Paylists, held at the National Archives, Kew. The 1851, 1861 and 1871 Worldwide Army Index lists all officers* and other ranks serving in the first quarter of 1851 and second quarter of 1861 and 1871, together with their regimental HQ location. The index is, therefore, effectively a military surrogate for the relevant census.

Over 70,000 records have extra notes that can indicate whether a soldier was a recruit awaiting transfer to a regiment, detached from his regiment or attached to another, possibly discharged, on leave, had deserted or retired. Men identified as using aliases are also included. Many notes include a place of birth and former occupation.

Also included within the records are recruits, boy soldiers, bandsmen and civilians working in the armed forces as clerks, pension recruiters, teachers and suchlike. Colonial regiments which invariably had numbers of British subjects are also featured.

The Illustrated War News was a weekly magazine during the First World War, published by The Illustrated London News and Sketch Ltd. of London. The IWN publication contained illustrated reports related entirely to the war and comprised articles, photographs, diagrams and maps. From 1916 it was issued as a 40-page publication in portrait format, having been landscape prior to this. It claimed to have the largest number of artist-correspondents reporting on the progress of the war until it ceased publication in 1918.

To search these and many other records go to: https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/search/advanced/military/muster-book-pay-list/

or read our article at: https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2017/worldwide-army-index-1851-1861–1871-661/  

*While the 1851 and 1871 include officers, the 1861 index excludes officers as they were not mustered in all the Paylists.

Who Do You Think you Are? Live reveals star guest

Celebrity guest Reggie Yates for WDYTYA? Live.

Reggie Yates, best known for his work as a BBC radio DJ and television presenter, will be at the Who Do You Think You Are? Live show at Birmingham’s NEC on the opening day.

Reggie appeared on the TV programme Who Do You Think You Are? last year, in an episode which saw him travel to Ghana to trace his grandfather, Harry Philip Yates. Once there, he unravelled a complicated family history in which Ghanaian culture and British colonialism collided.

Born in London in 1983, the presenter knew very little about his father’s side of the family, after his parents separated when he was just four years old. He grew up with his mother and never met his paternal grandparents, but his Who Do Think You Are? experience made him feel more connected to both his own father and his wider family: “I feel like I’m part of something, and being here and learning about our history has made that even more real.”

During his trip to Ghana, the presenter enlisted the help of historian, Carina Ray, to discover more about the men in his family including George Yates, an Englishman who came over to the Gold Coast to work in the mining industry. Reggie also met his adopted uncle, JB, and spoke to Ghanaian chief Nana about his great grandmother.

Hear Reggie’s story
Reggie will be doing a Q and A session with Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine editor, Sarah Williams, to discuss the making of his episode and share his story.
 

“I was really honoured to take part in Who Do You Think You Are?” Reggie explains, “it was an incredible journey that I took a huge amount from and I’m really looking forward to sharing my experiences.”

Meet Reggie and hear first-hand about his experiences at Who Do You Think You Are? Live on Friday 16 April at the NEC! To ensure you don’t miss out, book your tickets here

Reggie Yates
Reggie Yates

New WW1 Records Released

New avenues of research are opened up by the latest release of unique Great War records online.

During the First World War many servicemen were reported as ‘Missing’ or ‘Killed in Action’ and for the first time you can now search a comprehensive list of these online. Usefully this includes the changing status of soldiers as the facts became clearer over time, as many assumed dead were found alive and those reported missing had their status updated.

TheGenealogist logo

This new release from TheGenealogist contains over 800,000 records. Included are 575,000 Killed in Action records, over 226,000 unique Missing-in-Action records and 14,000 Status Updates.

Over 100,000 people previously reported as missing had further status updates:

  • 59,500 were later reported as killed

  • 47,400 were later reported as PoW

  • 2,000 were later reported as rejoined

  • 4,200 were later reported as “not missing”

  • 8,400 were later reported as wounded

Mark Bayley, Head of Online Content at TheGenealogist comments:

“The telegrams and published lists of Dead and Missing must have had a huge impact on the lives of our ancestors. These records give an insight into what must have been an emotional roller coaster. They also give new avenues of research into what some researchers may have assumed were dead ends.”

These records are now available to Diamond subscribers of TheGenealogist.

Example 1 Thought to be dead

Some people initially reported to be dead may turn out to be alive; the change in status is usually reported in the War Lists. If it had been assumed that an ancestor was dead, from the initial report, it could reopen a closed off branch of a family tree for further research.

An example of this type of positive record status change is Flight Sub Lieutenant Trechmann who was first reported as “Died As A Prisoner” in the Daily Lists of 6th June 1917.

Flight Sub Lieutenant Trechmann who was first reported as “Died As A Prisoner” in the Daily Lists of 6th June 1917.

By the end of July 1917 his status changed to Previously Reported Died As A Prisoner, Now Reported Alive and Still a Prisoner.

Finally, in December 1918, his records show that he was Repatriated.

PoW camp in the image archives on TheGenealogist

Example 2 Thought to be wounded

A different illustration, on many levels, is that of the 5th Earl of Longford. Within the Daily Casualty List on TheGenealogist for the 6th September 1915, we can find Lord Longford who had previously been reported as “Wounded”.

5th Earl Of Longford

Lord Longford "Wounded" 6 Sep 1915 in records on TheGenealogistHis status was then changed to be “Now Reported Wounded and Missing” and this alteration appeared in the daily list of the 27th September 1915

Lord Longford Previously Reported Wounded in Military records on TheGenealogist

During the First World War, Brigadier-General Lord Longford was in command of a division sent from their base in Egypt to Suvla on the Gallipoli peninsula as reinforcements during the Battle of Sari Bair.

The initial attack by other Divisions on Scimitar Hill had failed. With his men waiting in reserve, the 5th Earl and his troops were then ordered to advance in the open across a dry salt lake. Under fire, most of the brigades had taken shelter, but Lord Longford led his men in a charge to capture the summit of Scimitar Hill. Unfortunately, during the advance, he was killed.

Earl Longford’s body was never recovered and so, in the confusion of war, he was first recorded as “Wounded”, and then “Wounded and Missing”. Eventually, in 1916, he would be assumed to be dead.

Posterity tells us that the peer’s last words were recorded as: “Don’t bother ducking, the men don’t like it and it doesn’t do any good”.

To read more about these records and to read a featured article on TheGenalogist here.

It’s not what you know, its who your ancestors were!

If your surname reveals that your family came over from Normandy, the last time that England was conquered, then even today you are more likely to be upper class than the average member of the population in Britain. Quite astonishingly, the social status of your ancestors has more influence on your life chances than on your height. Normans recorded as property owners in the Domesday book of 1086 are 16 times more likely to be at Oxford or Cambridge in 1170 and still 25% more likely that their ancestors are there today.

Gregory Clark of the University of California, Davis and Neil Cummins from the London School of Economics have published an article in the Journal of Human Nature that shows that social mobility from 1170 to 2012 has always been slow and even now is not much greater than in the pre-industrial period.

An example being the Bunduck family whose name regularly appeared in the registers of the Oxbridge universities consistently from the 12th century until the modern day. The Bunducks were also found on the rich property owners’ database, which is another suggestion that they were of a higher class as is their appearance on the 19th century probate registry.

‘Strong forces of familial culture, social connections, and genetics must connect the generations,’ said Mr Clark.

‘Even more remarkable is the lack of a sign of any decline in status persistence across major institutional changes, such as the Industrial Revolution of the eighteenth century, the spread of universal schooling in the late nineteenth century, or the rise of the social democratic state in the twentieth century,’ added Mr Cummins.

Source: The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility. Gregory Clark (with Neil Cummins, Yu Hao, and Daniel Diaz Vidal and others), 2014. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press.

The Son Also Rises

Your Family Tree Explained

I came across the following helpful explanation of the relationships that occur in our family tree. For the less experienced genealogists, it’s a quick helpful guide into knowing who is related to whom in your family tree, particularly invaluable as your family tree grows in size as you develop your research.

The You Tube channel provided by CGP Grey offers a number of explanations on all sorts of questions. The video below explains the links in our family history and how to summarise your family tree.

Petition for a change in marriage certificates

The website change.org which gives people the opportunity to raise petitions for causes they believe in and to gather support is promoting a petition raised by  Ailsa Burkimsher Sadler.

Ailsa is campaigning for changes to the format of the marriage certificate. Her petition raises the following points, quoting directly from her petition page on change.org :

“In England & Wales mothers’ names are not on marriage certificates.

This is not fair.

This is 2014.

Marriage should not be seen as a business transaction between the father of the bride and the father of the groom.

This seemingly small inequality is part of a much wider pattern of inequality.

Women are routinely silenced and written out of history.

There is space for the name of the Father of the Bride and the Father of the Groom and their occupations. On civil partnership certificates there is space for mothers, and on Scottish and Northern Irish marriage certificates.”

Over 20,000 people have already signed the petition. As well as for equality, the more information there is on a marriage certificate will also benefit family historians and researchers in the future who will be glad of the extra family information! If you’d like to get involved in the campaign go to the change.org website

New competition on TheGenealogist

If you are confident with your geography and particularly places from yesteryear, you may want to take part in the weekly  competition on TheGenealogist Facebook page.

There’s 100  ‘Discover Your Ancestors’ periodical subscriptions (12 issues) up for grabs, the new highly rated online magazine for family historians.

If you’d like to find out more and enter go to https://www.facebook.com/thegenealogist

Discover Your Ancestors cover
Win a Discover Your Ancestors periodical subscription

Provisional running order announced for Who Do You Think You Are? TV programme

Latest news on the eagerly anticipated new series of Who Do You Think You Are? TV programme is the first episode in July will start off with the actress Una Stubbs.

The new series is promised to be both varied and filled with twists and turns according to the show producers.

The running order is provisionally set as follows with actress Una Stubbs on the first programme, followed by Nigel Havers, Minnie Driver, Lesley Sharp, Gary Lineker, Nick Hewer, Sarah Millican, Nitin Ganatra, Marianne Faithfull with the final episode featuring John Simpson.

Latest news and updates can be found on the Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine website