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The very latest news from the world of genealogy

Family history shop added to online site.

If you read my last post, then you will know that with a month to go I was writing my list for Santa (or at least as a massive hint for loved ones to buy me something useful this year!). So it is very timely that this news has come in from the team at TheGenealogist:

TheGenealogist Family History Shop is now open!

Christmas is coming; it’s that time for giving and receiving again.

Are you looking for some great gifts to make a family historian happy this festive period? Simply head over to the fantastic new shop pages recently added to TheGenealogist for a great selection of scanners, software, archival storage, spring binders and charts. Made available in association with S&N Genealogy Supplies, the UK’s largest genealogy publisher and retailer, your present selection is covered this Yuletide.

While you are there, why not browse for something for yourself? To make sure that you get what you want in your stocking this year, just drop your loved ones the hint by giving them TheGenealogist shop’s page link.

TheGenealogist shop

TheGenealogist shop 
http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/shop/

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Christmas presents for the genealogist

Christmas is coming; it's that time for giving and receiving again. So its probably a good idea to start thinking about what a family historian might want to put on this year's letter to Santa. So here is mine to get people started!

That  shoe box of photos, certificates and A4 family-pedigrees could really do with being more organised. I would really love it if, this Christmas, under my tree I'd find some hard backed binders, to protect all that valuable research I've done and preserve it in a more presentable way for future generations of the family to read.

Gift vouchers to allow me to buy exactly what I want are always well received, especially if they are family history related!

I would also be so grateful if that kind person, who regularly gives me the box of shortbread's that does nothing for my waist line after all the other food on offer at this time of year, would substitute the biscuits with a non edible present instead. Perhaps a useful set of charts to present my family tree in a more attractive way than the print out from my computer, or the scribbled hand drawn tree on that sheet of paper that I have at the moment?

At the top of my list (hint ,hint!) would be a portable scanner, to capture images of the certificates and photographs that I see on visits to my relatives or at the archives.

Flip Pal

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Family Tree reaches 1,000,000 DNA tests

Family Tree DNA, the genetic genealogy company and established market leader in the field of DNA testing, has announced they have now processed more than 1,000,000 DNA tests, many for family history research purposes. The family finder test finds relatives within 5 generations and gives a detailed geographic breakdown of where your ancestors originate from, by comparing a person's DNA to the DNA of other users in the Family Tree DNA's huge database. Here in the UK, TheGenealogist.co.uk offers DNA testing through Family Tree DNA. The range of DNA tests available can be found by clicking here on TheGenealogist website.

DNA genealogy testing

Family Tree DNA tests pass one million mark

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Live web chat with Mark Bayley of TheGenealogist

Today sees the continuation of the live web chat series on the Who Do You Think You Are? magazine website with the Head of Online Content from TheGenealogist, Mark Bayley, featuring today and answering any questions from family historians. Mark will be offering help and advice from 1pm to 2pm today and more details can be found on the Who Do You Think You Are? website

Mark Bayley

Mark Bayley answering questions on the Who Do You Think You Are? magazine web chat

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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

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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. 
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DNA techniques aim to help solve murder mystery

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.

DNA genealogy testing

DNA helps solve murder mystery from 1930

 
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The Bracknell Family History Fair

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

Bracknell Family History Fair

The popular Bracknell Family History Fair returns on Sunday 26th January

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Guide to English surnames..

Our surnames and how they have developed in Britain is a subject that interests many genealogists. At Family History Social we came across this useful guide to English surnames on About.com If you've always wanted to know a bit more about your surname, this is a handy article. The article covers English surnames as we know them today, passed down through generations, which began in England as early as the 11th century. There's more on the article available here.
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