Thursday, 21 September 2017

Meeting a FreeCEN volunteer in Crete!

It's a small world really! Last night at a Greek taverna in Crete, a couple seated next to me at the bar, Brian and Diane Collins from North Wales, got talking with me. Within seconds we were talking genealogy, because it soon transpired that Brian is in fact a volunteer for the FreeCEN project (www.freecen.org.uk).

FreeCEN is a volunteer based project designed to provide free to access transcriptions of the censuses in Britain from 1841-1891. Volunteers at the Scottish end started with 1841, and are moving forward through the range, whilst English and Welsh volunteers started at 1891 and are moving backwards. It's a long standing work in progress, but has many key advantages over some of the commercial sites, in that underpinning the transcription effort is an equally impressive effort to oversee the quality of the transcriptions using local knowledge, thanks to people like Brian. Brian's role is to check what transcribers are producing, and to make any corrections needed where there has been an error in interpretation from the original source record.


FreeCEN is certainly a site worth bookmarking - I have actually found entries using the site that in the past ScotlandsPeople has not even indexed correctly. And don't forget to check out the future version of FreeCEN, currently available on a beta site at https://freecen2.freecen.org.uk.

(With thanks to Brian and Diane - have a great stay in Crete!)

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Details of new digitised church records at PRONI

This Friday sees a significant event in Belfast at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (www.nidirect.gov.uk/proni) with the formal launch event for a newly digitised series of church records at the archive. First, here are the details of the launch event, and how to register:

PRONI will highlight the availability of church records that it has digitised at an event at 12:30pm on Friday 22nd September. Digitised records dating from 1642 from 15 churches are now available to view onsite in PRONI. The itinerary for the day is as follows:

12:30pm – 12:45pm: Welcome address by Dr Michael Willis, PRONI Director

12:45 – 1:00pm: How to Search for Digitised Church Records on the PRONI Catalogue, demonstration by Lorraine Bourke, PRONI

1:00 – 1:15pm: Rev Robin Roddie, Archivist, Methodist Historical Society of Ireland, ‘A History of the Methodist Historical Society of Ireland’.

1:15 – 1:30pm: Dr Susan Hood, Librarian and Archivist, Representative Church Body, Dublin.

1:30pm: tea/coffee

If you are available to attend the event, please email Avril Loughlin (avril.loughlin@communities-ni.gov.uk) or register through Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/launch-of-digitised-church-records-at-proni-tickets-37691207416

I am unfortunately unable to attend this event, being currently tied up in Crete on a family matter, and so I emailed the archive to ask for details of the church records in question. Most are new sets of records, with some a re-scan of registers that in the past were very poorly photographed in black and white. Many are from Belfast based churches, but there are others from across the north - they are noted here, with their call numbers immediately after the name:

Church Records Available as Digital Copies in PRONI

Church of Ireland Records

St. Columb’s Cathedral, Londonderry CR1/113
Baptisms 1642 – 1983 (records from 1905 – 1983 are closed)
Marriages 1826 – 1830, 1843 – 1904
Burials 1829 – 1955 (records from 1874 – 1955 are closed)
Vestry Books 1741 – 1793
Vestry Minutes 1823 – 1935

Derryloran Parish, Co. Tyrone CR1/114
Baptisms 1797 – 1995 (records from 1913 – 1995 are closed)
Marriages 1832 – 2000 (records from 1930 – 2000 are closed)
Burials 1855 – 1878

St. Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, Co. Antrim CR1/115
Baptisms 1745 – 1911
Marriages 1745 – 1914
Burials 1745 – 1809

Drumcree Parish Church, Portadown, Co. Armagh CR1/116
Baptisms 1784 – 1930 (records from 1906 – 1930 are closed)
Marriages 1784 – 1930 (records from 1926 – 1930 are closed)
Burials 1784 – 2013

St. Andrew’s Parish Church, Hope Street, Belfast, Co. Antrim CR1/117
Baptisms 1886 – 1933 (records from 1903 – 1933 are closed)
Marriages 1870 – 1889

St. Mary Magdalene Parish Church, Donegall Pass, Belfast, Co. Antrim CR1/118
Baptisms 1847 – 1872
Marriages 1862 – 1872
Burials Not Received
Register of Vestrymen 1870 – 1932
Select Vestry Minutes 1900 – 1911

Dromore Cathedral, Dromore, Co. Down CR1/119
Baptisms 1784 – 1846
Marriages 1784 – 1845
Burials 1784 – 1853

St. Luke’s Parish Church, Mullaglass, Co. Armagh CR1/120
Baptisms 1852 – 1865
Marriages 1845 – 1880
Burials 1853 – 1865
Preachers 1860 – 1865
Vestry Minutes 1870 – 1911
Register of Vestrymen 1890 – 1902
Roll of Subscribers 1877 – 1913

St. George’s Parish Church, High Street, Belfast, Co. Antrim CR1/121
Baptisms 1817 – 1870
Marriages 1817 – 1875
Burials Not Received
Minutes of Congregational Committee 1837 - 1840
Rector’s Notebook 1837 – 1843

St. Patrick’s Parish Church, Ballymacarret, Belfast, Co. Down CR1/122
Baptisms 1827 – 1883
Marriages 1827 – 1874
Burials Not Received
Minutes of general Vestry Meetings 1850 – 1980 (Closed)
Select Vestry Minutes 1891 – 1913


Methodist Church Records

Ballymacarrett Methodist Church (later known as Newtownards Road Methodist Church and now East Belfast Mission) CR6/18
Stewards Book 1871 – 1884

Hyde Park Methodist Church, Parish of Grange, Mallusk, Co. Antrim CR6/19
Marriages 1840 – 1931

Ligoniel Methodist Church, Belfast, Co. Antrim CR6/20
Baptisms 1870 – 1908

Frederick Street Methodist Church, Belfast, Co. Antrim CR6/21
Baptisms 1841 – 1877
Marriages 1840 – 1873

Salem Methodist New Connexion Church, York Street, Belfast, Co. Antrim CR6/22
Baptisms 1829 – 1904
Marriages 1836 - 1844


COMMENT: No doubt there will be something in here for some of you, but I am personally over the moon that the records of St Anne's have been rescanned - the original microfilms were virtually illegible and impossible to use. These records cannot be consulted from home, but must be consulted at the archive itself. But when they are hosted at the best archive across Britain and Ireland, that's not such a chore. Another trip to PRONI beckons soon then - well done team...! :)

(With grateful thanks to Lorraine Bourke and Gavin McMahon at PRONI)

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

Coming soon - Unlock the Past handy guides

Unlock the Past (www.unlockthepast.com.au) is preparing a new range of 4 page card based 'handy guides' which it will be selling at events in the immediate future, to complement its range of genealogy guide books. The guides contain detailed articles relating to various topics of use to the family historian - the following are the first five titles, of which I have contributed two:

Civil Registration Births, Marriages and Deaths in Britain and Ireland, Chris Paton
Twenty Useful websites for Irish Research, Chris Paton
DNA for Genealogy, Kerry Farmer
GEDmatch Tools for DNA & Genealogy Research, Kerry Farmer
Civil Registration Births, Marriages and Deaths in Germany, Eric Kopittke

Let the team know what you think of them of when you see them, and perhaps what subjects you might like to see added further down the line!

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

US based RootsTech event registration now open

From FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org), news of its annual family history show in Utah:

RootsTech 2018 Now Open for Registration

SALT LAKE CITY (19 September 2017)--FamilySearch International has announced that registration to RootsTech 2018 is now open. RootsTech is a popular 4-day annual family history and technology conference where individuals and families are inspired to discover, preserve, and share their family roots, heritage, and stories. The conference will be held February 28 to March 3, 2018, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information, go to RootsTech.org. (Find and share this announcement online in the FamilySearch Newsroom.)

In 2017 the growing event attracted more than 26,000 attendees in-person from all 50 U.S. states and more than 35 countries. Family Discovery Day, a free 1-day event held on Saturday as part of the conference, is also open for registration.

RootsTech 2018 will offer attendees a full lineup of inspiring and well-known keynote speakers; over 300 informative sessions, including hands-on computer labs taught by industry professionals and leaders; interactive activities and helpful exhibitors in the expo hall; and entertaining evening events. All are designed to inspire and empower personal family discoveries.

INNOVATION SHOWCASE

RootsTech 2018 officially begins on Wednesday, February 28, with class sessions beginning at 9:30 a.m. The all-new general session begins at 4:30 p.m. Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International, will be the keynote speaker. Following Rockwood's address will be the all-new Innovation Showcase. The Innovation Showcase will feature the best new technology in the industry from around the globe. RootsTech is now accepting nominations for the 2018 Innovation Showcase from the public. The public can nominate its favorite family history related app, product, or service by using #RootsTechInnovation on Facebook or Twitter, or visit the Innovation Showcase page at rootstech.org. The submission deadline is October 15, 2017.

The showcase also offers attendees the opportunity to interact and connect with industry influencers, executives, and investors. Online viewers will also be able to vote for their favorite product or service during the live showcase event on Wednesday. (See RootsTech 2018 Grows to 4 Days, Introduces New Innovation Showcase.)

FAMILY DISCOVERY DAY

Registration for Family Discovery Day is also now open. The event takes place on Saturday, March 3, 2018, and is designed for families and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This free and fun 1-day event includes inspiring messages from Church leaders; engaging classes for families, youth, and young single adults; and evening entertainment to inspire and help families and members discover, preserve, and share their family connections. Family Discovery Day attendees will also have access to all the interactive activities and exhibitors found in the RootsTech Expo Hall. Event details, including speakers and classes, will be made available soon at RootsTech.org. Registration is required.

PRICES

Early bird discount pricing is available for a limited time on 4-day passes at just $169 (a $100 discount). Single-day RootsTech passes are also available for $99. A 4-day Getting Started pass is only $69. All passes include access to the popular Expo Hall and morning keynote sessions.

About RootsTech

RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.

To register visit https://www.rootstech.org.

(With thanks to FamilySearch)

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Canadian Expeditionary Force Service Files digitisation update

Library and Archives Canada has announced that it has now digitised 491,373 of 640,000 Canadian Expeditionary Force Service Files, available in its Personnel Records of the First World War project site at www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/personnel-records/Pages/personnel-records.aspx. The latest box digitised is Box 8363 (of 10686), with the last name included being Robertson.

For more on CEF records please visit www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/personnel-records/Pages/personnel-records.aspx.

(With thanks to LAC at https://thediscoverblog.com/2017/09/15/digitization-of-the-canadian-expeditionary-force-personnel-service-files-update-of-september-2017/)

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

How to follow The GENES Blog

Hi everyone, just a quick note to point out two ways to follow the blog, other than just dropping in occasionally!

On the left margin side of this page you will see a section entitled 'Subscribe via email'. If you register your email address in this, you will get a daily post of content from this blog, allowing you to digest everything in one go. Last night the blog passed the 1000 email subscribers mark, so there has to be at least another thousand folk out there waiting to do similarly!

Alternatively, The GENES Blog's Facebook page is another way to subscribe, simply follow the page and new posts appear as an when in your timeline - to get to the page, click on the link. Note that on the Facebook page you will get a bit more banter and a few more extras (reshared posts etc), and you can also interact with me if you require to (you can of course, also leave comments on the main blog posts!). The Facebook page currently has 2200 followers and is growing by the day.

Finally, do let you friends and societies know about the blog - and feel free to lift and re-use content for newsletters, journals etc, if you are a not for profit genealogical agency. All I ask if you do so is for a simple acknowledgement for The GENES Blog as the source.

Many thanks, and I hope this helps!

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Genealogists for Families

Last month in Australia I caught up with genealogist Judy Webster, who a few years ago set up an initiative called Genealogists for Families (http://genfamilies.blogspot.com), and I promised I would give it another plug!


Genealogists for Families is a worthwhile scheme which seeks to make loans of $25 to people in need around the world, which can be reclaimed once repaid or re-invested to help another person in need. The idea was based on Judy's father's idea of setting aside 'Do Good Money' and is gaining widespread support across the world's genealogical community. The initiative also has a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/groups/173969336022998/. All loans opportunities are provided through the Kiva non-profit platform, and you can select who you wish to pay to and for what worthwhile opportunity.

By the way - you don't need to be a professional genealogist to sign up! All donations will be very welcome, and if you contribute I will love you all even more than I do already and will shout your names from the Scottish hills for all eternity to hear! :)

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

FIBIS AGM and autumn lecture

News of this year's Families in British India Society (www.fibis.org) AGM:

FIBIS AGM and Autumn Lecture Meeting 2017

The FIBIS AGM and Autumn Lecture Meeting will be on Saturday 28th October 2017 at the Resource For London, 356 Holloway Road, London N7 6PA.
Programme

10.00 FIBIS experts answer your research questions
12.00 Break for Lunch. There is a café on the premises for light lunches.
13.15 AGM
14.00 Film and presentation by Andrew McMeekin: “Thomas McMeekin’s Tea Times,” a story of life on a tea plantation.
15.00 Break
15.30 Introduction by Ian Smith to his new book : “The Bitter End of the British Raj” – (a family’s experience of Partition)
16.30 - 17.00 Networking

The Meeting is free and open to all interested in the study of British India whether or not they are members of FIBIS. Please register you attendance via Eventbrite below or email membership@fibis.org

(With thanks to Valmay Young)

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Sussex parish records join TheGenealogist

From TheGenealogist (www.thegenealogist.co.uk):

TheGenealogist adds over 1.1 million records to their Sussex Parish Record Collection

TheGenealogist has added over 1.1 million individuals to its parish record collection covering the county of Sussex. Published In association with The Parish Record Transcription Society, this first tranche of records will be followed by more releases in the near future.

This New release covers individual records of:

● 717,000 Baptisms
● 213,000 Marriages
● 208,000 Burials

The Parish Record Transcription Society (PRTSoc) have worked with TheGenealogist and S&N to publish their records online, making over 1.1 million individuals from baptism, marriage and burial records fully searchable:

"We are very pleased to be working with TheGenealogist on this major project, previously undertaken to transcribe the parish registers of West Sussex by the staff and dedicated volunteers of the PRTSoc. This will preserve these records for future generations and brings them into the online community." Peter Steward, Chairman of PRTSoc

Mark Bayley, Head of Online Development at TheGenealogist, welcomed PRTSoc to the growing number family history societies on both TheGenealogist and FHS-Online saying: “We’re delighted that PRTSoc chose to publish their records through TheGenealogist and FHS-Online. This release adds to the ever expanding collection of parish records on both websites. These partnerships help fund societies whilst bringing their records to a much wider audience, through online publication.”

This release joins TheGenealogist’s Sussex collection including parish records to form a major resource for the county. Read their article here: https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2017/new-sussex-parish-records-reveal-a-grizzly-end-646/

If your society is interested in publishing records online, please contact Mark Bayley on 01722 717002 or see fhs-online.co.uk/about.php

(With thanks to Nick Thorne)

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

Friday, 15 September 2017

FindmyPast adds Herefordshire records

Latest additions from FindmyPast (www.findmypast.com):

Herefordshire Baptisms
Herefordshire Baptisms contains over 229,000 transcripts of original parish baptism registers. The collection dates back to the early 1500s and covers more than 240 parishes across the county. Some of the records have been created by the Leintwardine History Society from original documents and the rest come from FamilySearch's International Genealogical Index.

Herefordshire Marriages
Search over 49,000 transcripts of Herefordshire Marriages spanning the years 1538 to 1936 to uncover the name of your ancestor's spouse and add another branch to your family tree. Herefordshire is found in the West Midlands of England and share borders with Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Shropshire and Wales. You will find records from more than 230 parishes across the county, including Bromyard, Kington, Leominster, Ledbury, and Ross-on-Wye.

Herefordshire Burials
Do you have family members buried Herefordshire? Search transcripts of original parish burial registers that span four centuries and cover 75 parishes across the county to find out. Each record will reveal where and when your ancestor was laid to rest as well as the names of their parent's and spouse.

Herefordshire Wills, 1517-1700
Herefordshire wills, 1517-1700 is a collection of more than 49,000 records produced by the British Record Society. This handwritten index was created from the original documents found in the Herefordshire Archive and Records Centre. The index is arranged in alphabetical order by surname and can be searched the by the first initial of the surname. In the cases where there is more than one volume for a surname, the volumes are numbered.

Further details at https://blog.findmypast.co.uk/findmypast-friday-september-15th-2485517307.html.

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.