Thursday, 24 August 2017

Bedfordshire petty session and land records on Ancestry

Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk) has added three new collections which may be of interest to those with Bedfordshire connections:

Bedfordshire, England, Petty Sessions, 1854-1915
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=61345
Source: Bedfordshire Petty Sessions, Bedfordshire Archives and Records Service, Bedford, Bedfordshire, England.

Petty sessions were the lowest tier in the court system and usually involved cases such as drunkenness or minor theft. They were presided over by magistrates and did not involve a jury.
Details for each individual recorded in this collection may include (where available):

  • Name
  • Role in the case
  • Date of the hearing
  • Location of the court

Please scroll right to see the fines or punishment given to the defendent(s).


Bedfordshire, England, Land Tax Records, 1797-1832
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=61321
Source: Bedfordshire Land Tax Records, Bedfordshire Archives and Records Service, Bedford, Bedfordshire, England.

Details found within this collection include (where available):

  • Year of Residence
  • Given Name and Surname of Occupier
  • Given Name and Surname of Owner
  • Parish of Residence

Parts of this description have been taken from the Bedfordshire Archive website. You can find out more about their collections at http://bedsarchives.bedford.gov.uk/GuidesToCollections/GuidesToCollections.aspx.


Bedfordshire, England, Valuation Records, 1838-1929
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=61323
Source: Bedfordshire Valuation Records, Bedfordshire Archives and Records Service, Bedford, Bedfordshire, England.

Details found within this collection include (where available):

  • Year of Residence
  • Given Name and Surname of Occupier
  • Given Name and Surname of Owner
  • Parish of Residence


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.

Visiting Gould Genealogy in Adelaide

The Unlock the Past Researching Abroad roadshow (www.unlockthepast.com.au/events/researching-abroad-finding-british-isles-and-european-ancestors) is now in Adelaide, which is also the home of Gould Genealogy (www.gould.com.au), Unlock the Past’s parent company. Having previously been to Adelaide just once before to give a talk during a brief stopover on a previous Unlock the Past genealogy cruise, I had not yet previously had the pleasure to visit the company’s base, something that was duly rectified on this visit!

Gould Genealogy has a shop in the city, where many products, including the Unlock the Past book range, are manufactured and sold to the public, as well as a facility in the Adelaide Hills where postal orders are sorted from. I popped into the city shop two days ago and caught up with Alona Tester, who gave me a quick tour of the facility, including a look at their print set up from which the various guides I have written are published on demand (there are similar facilities in England and Canada where the same books are published for the UK and North American markets). We of course also grabbed the requisite selfies, with both of us being shameless bloggers and social media users!







Gould Genealogy is a family business run by Alan Phillips, and from his home in the Adelaide hills, his wife Anthea handles the mail order side of the business; being a guest at their home for my current stay I have also been privileged to see this side of the business, and have even visited the local post office to post some orders!




I have been privileged to work with Unlock the Past for the last seven years, and so it has been wonderful to at long last get to see Genie Central in Adelaide! If you are looking for products to help with your research, whether books or support materials, do take a look at the company’s online catalogue at www.gould.com.au. The company also produces ebooks for various products via www.gen-ebooks.com, and of course its highly popular and successful genealogy cruise ventures via www.unlockthepastcruises.com. Having just completed a cruise to Papua New Guinea, the company’s next cruise venture will be to Alaska, on which I will be one of the international speakers – for more info on this please visit www.unlockthepastcruises.com/2018cruisealaska/.

Thanks again to Alan and Anthea for their wonderful hospitality in Adelaide, and to Alona for the tour!

(NB: Alona blogs her personal genealogy journeys at www.lonetester.com, and writes a dedicated Genealogy and History News blog for the company at www.gouldgenealogy.com)

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, 23 August 2017

Visit to Australia’s National War Museum

On Sunday I had the pleasure to visit Australia’s National War Museum (www.awm.gov.au) in Canberra, a superb museum and space to commemorate the fallen from Australia’s many conflicts, including the two world wars, and to understand Australia’s experience of war. The starting point for the visit is the superb Commemorative Courtyard, with the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier at the far end. Alongside two galleries overlooking the courtyard are brass plates listing the names of all soldiers who fallen in service to Australia, amidst a sea of poppies. The Roll of Honour is also hosted at the end of one of these galleries, with some 120,000 names recorded.

Inside the complex are various galleries and a research centre (sadly closed on my visit as this was a Sunday). I visited the galleries dedicated to the First and Second World War, as well as one dedicated to the efforts of the air force. Various vehicles, airplanes, and even a submarine were amongst the exhibits, as well as interpretative panels on the histories of various campaigns involving Australian forces. I also managed to catch one of the interactive shows involving a Lancaster bomber, whereby an air raid on Germany was recreated using screens surrounding the craft carrying old newsreels and CGI reconstructions of craft in formation.

At the end of our visit was the daily remembrance ceremony, at 5.00pm in the main courtyard to commemorate a fallen soldier, with relatives in attendance to lay wreaths. We stood in respectful silence as wreaths were laid to a piper's lament, and with the Last Post played on a bugle shortly after.

The facility is well worth visiting to understand Australia's experience of war - here are some images from the day...














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.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Family history fair in Ballymena

The Ballymena branch of the North of Ireland Family History Society (www.nifhs.org) will be hosting its first ever family history show at the Braid Museum, Ballymena, on Saturday, September 2nd 2017, from 11am-4pm.

The event, the Family History Fair and FTDNA Event, will have many exhibitors present including the Presbyterian Historical Society, Eddie's Extracts, Irish Origenes, the United Irishmen, Maghera Local History Group, the Mid-Antrim Friends of the Somme Association, and many other family history groups and societies.

Sounds like it will be a great day!

(With thanks to Alan Rosborough)

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.

Unlock the Past roadshow – Melbourne and Canberra report

We’ve had a very busy few days since speaking at Parramatta, with the Unlock the Past Researching Abroad roadshow taking us on to Melbourne and then to the Australian capital of Canberra.

At Melbourne I stayed for three nights with my uncle Bill and aunt Beth in Keysborough, and was able to catch up with my cousins Roslyn and Alison, providing a great opportunity to see some of the local sights from an Australian-Irish point of view, and to sample some local wares – as well as to get some much needed washing sorted (everyone needs an Auntie Beth!)! For the roadshow itself, Unlock the Past visited the Veneto Club on Bulleen Road, an Italian club which I had the pleasure to speak at seven years ago on my first speaking trip to Oz with UTP. We had two very well attended days of talks, with myself kicking off with a day of talks on Scottish and Irish themes on Friday, followed by Dirk Weissleder’s sessions on Saturday covering German and resources and additional topics from further afield across Europe. Amongst those exhibiting were FIBIS (www.fibis.org), the Genealogical Society of Victoria (www.gsv.org.au) and VicGUM (www.vicgum.asn.au). The following are some pics from the event.






Early on Sunday morning we then flew to Canberra, in the Australian Capital Territory. The last time I was in Canberra was also with Unlock the Past about three or four years ago, as part of a pre-cruise talks tour with American speaker Thomas MacEntee, and on that occasion it was very much a hit and run raid – fly in, speak, fly out, and grab some pics from the car as we hurtled to and from the airport! On Sunday, however, both Dirk and I toured around the capital sightseeing with UTP’s Alan Phillips, and Rosemary and Eric Kopittke, and boy, did we see some sights! We visited the old federal parliament building, now home to a museum of democracy, and the new parliament building. Although not in session, it was great to be able to visit the two chambers for Australia’s elected representatives and senators, not least because both Dirk and I have dabbled in local politics in Scotland and Germany. The current scandal underway in Australia just now is the seemingly continuous revelations that many of those elected appear to hold dual nationality, which is forbidden under the Australian constitution – at the last count I think six members, including government ministers, had been caught up in the drama. Sadly this means that Dirk and I will not be able to stand for government in Australia, but many believe that one day some Australians might…! (Sorry, cheap joke!)








Two of the highlights of the day for me as a genie were to be able to visit both the National Library of Australia (www.nla.gov.au) and the National Archives of Australia (www.naa.gov.au). The NLA is the body which famously oversees the TROVE project (www.trove.nla.gov.au), the online portal with digitised newspapers and other resources made freely available from across the nation, working in partnership with many state agencies. The National Archives was actually in a much smaller building than I was anticipating, but hosted a fantastic exhibition in the lobby area. Sadly, with it being a Sunday we were not able to gain access to the search rooms, but I was very impressed with what I saw and look forward to returning some day to properly plunder their holdings!

After driving around the part of town hosting various embassies and high commissions, as well as the Australian National Mint, we ended up at the National War Museum, another highlight of the day. I will write about this in a subsequent blog post.


On Monday then we visited our next roadshow venue, the German Club in Canberra. Unlike most of our venues, on this day Dirk and I were speaking at the same time in parallel streams in two different rooms, although I have to admit envying Dirk speaking in the Bier Kellar – I have no idea what they got up to downstairs, but everyone came out very happy! Upstairs I gave four talks of my own, and also heard presentations from Nick Reddan of the Heraldry and Genealogy Society of Canberra (www.familyhistoryact.org.au). Nick may be better known to folk in the north of the planet as the founder of the Irish themed Registry of Deeds Index Project (www.irishdeedsindex.net), which has now passed 250,000 indexed entries (as of 12 AUG 2017), a superb project helping to unlock the potential of one of Ireland’s most important genealogical resources. It was great to meet Nick, and if you wish to contribute to his project’s efforts, the original deeds registers themselves have now been microfilmed and made available online at FamilySearch – consult Nick’s site for further details.







So that was it from Melbourne and Canberra! The only downside of the last few days was in the wifi provision at Canberra airport, which is unbelievably poor for a facility servicing the nation’s capital city, and hence the late posting of this update. Our next stop is Adelaide, where in addition to speaking at the German club (pre-booking is closed, but you can still attend and pay on the day – see www.unlockthepast.com.au/events/researching-abroad-british-isles-european-ancestors-adelaide). I will also be popping my head around the door of Unlock the Past itself….!

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, 19 August 2017

FindmyPast adds Buckinghamshire parish records

FindmyPast (www.findmypast.com) has added the following collections to its site:


Muster Rolls of The Marine Corps
Explore over 1.7 million muster rolls records from the United States Marine Corps spanning the late 1700s up to the end of the nineteenth century. The rolls record the details of men who were serving with the Corps and were chronologically arranged by month and then ordered by detachment or unit. The exception to this is the records pertaining to World War I when they were sorted in two subseries: by posts and stations and by mobile units.

Buckinghamshire Baptism Index
Search over 870,000 transcripts created from original records held at the Buckinghamshire Archives. Buckinghamshire is located in South East England and is one of the Home Counties.

Buckinghamshire Banns Index
The Buckinghamshire Banns Index contains over 101,000 records created from original parish registers and bishop's transcripts held by the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies.

Buckinghamshire Marriage Index
Explore more than 485,000 transcripts to find out whether your ancestors were married in a Buckinghamshire parish church.

Buckinghamshire Burial Index
Were your ancestors buried in Buckinghamshire? Search over 662,000 transcripts created from original parish registers and bishop's transcripts held at the Buckinghamshire Archives to find out.

Ireland Calendars of Wills & Administrations 1858-1920
Search over 1 million Wills & Administration records to learn more about your Irish ancestor's will and estate. Ireland began publishing an annual will calendar beginning in 1858. This calendar typically contained a summary of the will and probate information including the name of the deceased, their address, occupation, beneficiaries, date of death and value of their estate.

British Newspapers
Over 2.3 million new articles and 7 brand new titles have been added to our collection of historic newspapers this month. New titles now available to search include:

  • Tenby Observer
  • Brechin Herald
  • Milngavie and Bearsden Herald
  • Alcester Chronicle
  • Abergavenny Chronicle
  • Ripley and Heanor News and Ilkeston Division Free Press
  • Eastern Daily Press and the Colchester Gazette


Further details and links at https://blog.findmypast.co.uk/findmypast-friday-2474168057.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.

Latest National Archives podcasts

There have been several podcasts added to the English based National Archives website over the last few weeks:

Tudor trials: Confessions from the Star Chamber
http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/tudor-trials-confessions-star-chamber/

Medieval records specialist Euan Roger gives us a taste of the kinds of disputes dealt with by the Star Chamber, one of the highest Tudor courts.

The tens of thousands of Star Chamber records kept at The National Archives reveal a wealth of information about Tudor life. In this podcast, we uncover a few of the more unusual cases put before the King’s council, including a murder cover-up, a child maintenance complaint, and a marital dispute.


Jane Austen: from beginning to end
http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/jane-austen-beginning-end/

To commemorate the bicentenary of Jane Austen’s death in 1817, Professor Fiona Stafford delivered a talk on Austen’s life and work at the The National Archives, where Austen’s original will is held.

Fiona Stafford is a professor of English Language and Literature at Somerville College, Oxford, specialising in Romantic literature from Keats and Wordsworth to Austen. She is editor of ‘Emma’ for Penguin and ‘Pride and Prejudice’ for Oxford World’s Classics, and has written on many aspects of late eighteenth and early nineteenth century literature, including ‘Brief Lives: Jane Austen’.


A tormented Tudor queen’s treasonous ‘love letter’
http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/catherine-howard-thomas-culpeper/

In this episode, Neil Johnston and Christopher Day discuss a letter written by Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII, to Thomas Culpeper, a groom of the King’s Privy chamber. The document was part of a body of evidence collected against Catherine and Culpeper that ultimately led to their execution. It is now preserved at The National Archives.

Here Neil Johnston explains how it is crucial to examine this letter in the context of Catherine’s sexual past in order to understand how the queen accused of living “an abominable, base, carnal, voluptuous, vicious life” was effectively blackmailed into a path of action that led to her untimely death.

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.

Whitechapel Bell Foundry records deposited at LMA

The latest newsletter from London Metropolitan Archives has revealed that the archives of Whitechapel Bell Foundry, which was established in 1570, have been deposited with the archive. The company was responsible for the creation of the famous bells of Big Ben in London, the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, the Great Bell of Montreal, and London's Bow Bells amongst others, and is the oldest manufacturing firm still working in Britain.

The collection is accessible at the archive under catalogue number B17/040. For more on the history of the firm and the collection's acquisition, please visit https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/london-metropolitan-archives/the-collections/Pages/whitechapel-bell-foundry.aspx.

(Image: Liberty Bell, Wikimedia Commons; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Liberty_Bell_2008.jpg)

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.

Irish Ordnance Survey Memoirs book sale

The Ulster Historical Foundation (www.ancestryireland.com) is currently having a 50% sale on various editions of its Ordnance Survey Memoirs collection, which are essentially statistical accounts of the various parishes of the north of Ireland from the 19th century, compiled alongside the mapping survey work of the time. From the society's site:

The Memoirs are a uniquely detailed source for the history of the northern half of Ireland immediately before the Great Famine. They were written in the 1830s to accompany the 6" Ordnance Survey maps, but with one exception were not published at the time. In this new edition they act as a nineteenth-century Domesday book and are essential to the understanding of the cultural heritage of our communities. The Memoirs document the landscape and situation, buildings and antiquities, land-holdings and population, employment and livelihood of the parishes.

To access the sale, visit the society's bookshop page at http://www.booksireland.org.uk/store/ordnance-survey-memoirs.

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.

Sydney Anglican records online

Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk) has uploaded a new collection called Sydney, Australia, Anglican Parish Registers, 1818-2011, with the parish records sourced from Sydney Diocesan Archives, Anglican Church Diocese of Sydney. Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

To access the collection please visit http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=61177.

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, 18 August 2017

Researching Abroad roadshow report - Parramatta

We’ve just finished the Sydney part of our roadshow tour, with both Dirk Weissleder and I speaking at the Parramatta RSL, along with Unlock the Past’s Eric and Rosemary Kopittke, Kerry Farmer on DNA, and the Society of Australian Genealogists’ very own Heather Garnsey (see http://www.unlockthepast.com.au/events/researching-abroad-british-isles-european-ancestors-sydney). We had a massively warm reception - a huge thanks to all who attended! Along the way I managed to also catch up with a recent client, whose research report I emailed just a few weeks back prior to my leaving Scotland for the tour, so it was great to catch up and discuss the next steps ahead to continue the research. The following are pictures from the event…







This was my third visit to Parramatta’s RSL (an RSL is an armed forces veterans association), and I decided on this occasion that I actually needed to see some of the place, as in the past our visits have essentially been genealogical talk based hit and run raids! At lunchtime on my second day there I decided to leave the RSL building and visit the nearby Old Government House, where former New South Wales governor Lachlan MacQuarrie (originally from Ulva, by Mull, Scotland) lived for eleven years with his wife Elizabeth, from 1810-1821. Parramatta was essentially where the first major New South Wales convict colony was established in 1788, and the building itself had seen many changes and extensions before and during MacQuarrie’s time.

The following are some pictures of the location, well worth a visit if you come to Sydney.








Thanks to all who made us so welcome – next stop, Melbourne…!

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.