Friday, 27 March 2015

British Army WW1 service records on FamilySearch

FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org) has added the surviving British Army First World War service returns from the the English based National Archives' War Office (collections WO363 and WO364) to its site, in a collection entitled United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920. Although the index is accessible, the images can only be viewed at an LDS family history centre or to 'signed-in members of supporting organisations'.

On the available index, my first search hasn't boded well with regard to its accuracy. I did a search for my wife's great uncle Martin Colleton. He is there, but the site tells me he is from 'Carrick, Fife, Scotland'. No, he really, really wasn't. He came from Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary in Ireland. Tread carefully!

(With thanks to John Reid's Anglo-Celtic Connections blog)

Chris

For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Unlocking Your Past - Cleveland FHS Family History Day

A quick heads up for an event in 2 weeks time that I am looking forward to immensely, not least because it will actually be the first time ever that I will be speaking to a family history society south of the border (excluding the SoG based in London!) - and also because it just happens to be in my favourite part of England (Yorkshire!). The following are the details and programme for the family history day being organised by Cleveland Family History Society (www.clevelandfhs.org.uk) at Scotch Corner on Saturday April 11th:

UNLOCKING YOUR PAST
Spring Family History Day 2015
Scotch Corner Holiday Inn, Saturday 11 April 2015
Venue: Holiday Inn, Scotch Corner, Richmond DL10 6NR, North Yorkshire, Junction A1M/A66

Cleveland, North Yorkshire & South Durham Family History Society invite beginners and experienced family historians to their 16th Family History Day.

We will have specialists on hand to give assistance together with bookstands and displays.

Ben Sanderson is Head of Press, Social Media and Internal Communications at the British Library Boston Spa.

The presentation A Treasure Trove for Historians Ben will be giving will provide some background information on the history of the British Library and its collections, then goes into some detail about what people can do at the Boston Spa reading room, with some practical information on registration and ordering. Ben also delves into some of the online resources on the British Library website which are available as soon as you open your laptop.

Chris Paton was formerly a Television Producer & Director of History Programmes and now works as a Professional Genealogist running the Scotlands Greatest Story Research Service. Chris is a published author of several books and also a regular contributor to genealogy magazines such as Your Family Tree, Family History Monthly, Family Tree Magazine, Your Family History and many more publications.

Tracing your Irish Family History on the Internet is his first talk and Chris will guide you through the many exciting developments now allowing us an opportunity to reclaim our ancestral past. The second subject Chris will talk about is Scottish Marriage, where a quick trip over the border offered a good opportunity for English folk to get married under Scots Law after 1753, without parental permission and all the other restrictions that Hardwicke introduced to stop irregular marriage, which actually remained legal in Scotland up to 1939 hence Gretna Green etc.

PROGRAMME

9.45 – 10.30 Registration & Coffee

10.30 – 12.00 Ben Sanderson : “A Treasure Trove for Historians - Using the British Library at Boston Spa”

12.00 – 1.00 Buffet Lunch

1.00 – 2.30 Chris Paton  “Tracing your Irish Family History on the Internet”

2.30 – 3.00 Coffee Break

3.00 – 4.30 Chris Paton  “Scottish Marriage: Instantly Buckled for Life”

There is ample car parking close to the main reception entrance.
For those requiring accommodation please contact Scotch Corner Hotel Reception.
If you require accommodation please contact Holiday Inn Reception: Tel: 01748 850900

Talks including lunch and refreshments £15:00 per person.

The booking form for the event is available at the bottom of this page: www.clevelandfhs.org.uk/Articles/SFHD%20Events/SFHD%20Event%202015.html

Hopefully see you there!

(With thanks to Cleveland FHS)

Chris

For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

Discover Your Ancestors 4th annual bookazine now on sale

From Discover Your Ancestors magazine:

The 4th annual print edition of Discover Your Ancestors is a unique collection of original articles, written by experts, on a wide range of family and social history themes. Inside you’ll find a wealth of information and inspiration, helping you to trace your ancestors back through time and understand what their lives were actually like.

Each issue of Discover Your Ancestors - which also has a digital edition, the Periodical, published online every month - is different, much bigger than a standard magazine, and amazing value. Issue 4 is packed with almost 200 pages, with well over 30 features covering everything from medieval records to life in a Victorian asylum, from DNA research to the history of spa towns. We also have an exclusive on the swashbuckling ancestry of James Bond actor Daniel Craig.

Not only that, Issue 4 (now available in branches of WHSmiths, Sainsburys, Morrisons, Easons and Martin McColl as well as larger groups in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) has our first-ever cover DVD, with an amazing collection of resources and offers - including a FREE three-month subscription to TheGenealogist.co.uk - worth more than £130 in total.

Find out more at www.discoveryourancestors.co.uk!

(With thanks to Andrew Chapman)

Chris

For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

Historic Scotland properties opening this April

From Historic Scotland (www.historic-scotland.gov.uk):

Historic sites’ doors spring open for visitors

One of the Lothian’s most well-known historical sites will re-open its doors next month (1 April).

Crichton Castle, near Pathhead in Midlothian, is one of over 30 Historic Scotland properties across Scotland that will be reopening to the public after the winter months.

Built as the lordly residence of the Crichtons and later home to the earls of Bothwell, the castle is notable for its stunning 16th century courtyard facade.

Across the country, Historic Scotland’s seasonal staff are back at their posts and ready to welcome visitors, from Kisimul Castle in the Western Isles, known as the ‘Castle on the Sea’, to Smailholm Tower in the Borders.

Susan Loch, Head of Visitor Operations and Community Engagement at Historic Scotland said: “Our seasonal sites include castles, abbeys, churches and museums and it’s always exciting when they reopen after the long winter months. With longer days and warmer weather, spring is the perfect time to explore properties such as Crichton Castle and take advantage of the truly stunning sites we have across Scotland. No matter where you are in Scotland, history is never too far away.”

Properties opening on Wednesday 1 April include:
  • Lochleven Castle, near Kinross, where Mary Queen of Scots had the most traumatic year of her life – imprisoned and forced to abdicate, she managed to escape after a year of being held there
  • Hermitage Castle in the Borders, with its history of intrigue, murders, trysts, torture, and treason.
  • Cambuskenneth Abbey, near Stirling, once where Robert the Bruce held his parliament, now accessed across a field (watch out for roaming cattle)
  • Kinnaird Head Castle Lighthouse and Museum, Fraserburgh, which is still in working order and offers a challenging climb

For further information on opening hours, access and locations, visit: www.historic-scotland.gov.uk

(With thanks to Grant Thomson)

Chris

For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

Scottish hearth tax records 1691-96 now fully transcribed

The surviving 43 volumes of Scottish Hearth Tax records from 1691-1695 have now been fully transcribed on the ScotlandsPlaces website (www.scotlandsplaces.gov.uk). The transcripts are free to access, although a subscription to the platform is required to see the original records.

For further information visit www.scotlandsplaces.gov.uk/digital-volumes/historical-tax-rolls/hearth-tax-records-1691-1695.

(With thanks to @NatRecordsScot)

Chris

For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

Ancestry uploads records for Bexley in Kent

The following databases for Bexley in the the English county of Kent have now been uploaded to Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk):

Bexley, Kent, England, Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1558-1812
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=60572

Bexley, Kent, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1925
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=60635

Bexley, Kent, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1935
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=60636

Bexley, Kent, England, Deaths and Burials, 1813-1985
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=60637

Bexley, Kent, England, Cemetery Registers, 1879-1985
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=60571

The records have been sourced from Bexley Local Studies and Archive Centre, Bexleyheath, Kent, England, with images reproduced by courtesy of The Mayor and Burgesses of the London Borough of Bexley, London, England (www.bexley.gov.uk). Full details via the links.

Chris

For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

More BMD records added to Ancestry Ireland for Antrim and Down

From the Ulster Historical Foundation (www.ancestryireland.com), news of new additions from Counties Antrim and Down, including for St Nicholas Church in my home town of Carrickfergus:

We are pleased to announce the addition to our online databases of over 27,000 new Church of Ireland records for Counties Antrim and Down!

These new baptism, marriage and burial records are from 24 parishes across Antrim and Down and were transcribed by our Emeritus Research Director, Dr Brian Trainor.

Name of Church
County
Type of record
Years covered
No. of entries
Aghalee CI
Antrim
Marriages
1811 – 1844
475
Ardkeen CI
Down
Burials
1746 – 1875
109
Ballinderry CI
Antrim
Marriages
1840 – 1845
40
Ballyclug CI
Antrim
Marriages
1841 – 1844
12
Ballyculter CI
Down
Burials
1812 – 1871
716
Ballyhalbert CI
Down
Burials
1855 – 1922
321
Ballymacarrett CI
Down
Marriages
1827 – 1844
112
Ballymoney CI
Antrim
Marriages
1807 – 1844
370
Ballyphilip CI
Down
Burials
1831 – 1883
428
Bangor CI
Down
Burials
1814 – 1829, 1841 – 1846
1912
Blaris (Lisburn) CI
Antrim
Burials
1661 – 1720
3220
Blaris (Lisburn) CI
Antrim
Marriages
1663 – 1735
1546
Carrickfergus CI
Antrim
Burials
1740 – 1870
3457
Comber CI
Down
Burials
1683 – 1881 (with gaps)
2807
Comber CI
Down
Marriages
1683 – 1845
845
Donaghadee CI
Down
Burials
1771 – 1786, 1817, 1818, 1820 – 1841
852
Down CI
Down
Burials
1752 – 1785, 1795 – 1829, 1837 – 1871
1450
Dromore CI
Down
Marriages
1784 – 1845
832
Drumballyroney CI
Down
Burials
1839 – 1873
39
Finvoy CI
Antrim
Marriages
1812 – 1845
241
Glenavy CI
Antrim
Marriages
1708 – 1845 (with gaps)
618
Inver (Larne) CI
Antrim
Baptisms
1806 – 1826, 1836 – 1864
1333
Inver (Larne) CI
Antrim
Marriages
1817 – 1845
51
Kilkeel CI
Down
Burials
1816 – 1884 
778
Kilmore CI
Down
Burials
1822 – 1856
221
Kirkinriola (Ballymena) CI
Antrim
Marriages
1807, 1809, 1819, 1822, 1823 – 1841
131
Magheralin CI
Down
Burials
1783 – 1865
3818
Magheralin CI
Down
Marriages
1783 – 1845
545



These new records contain a wealth of information of use to both the family and local historian and the burial registers, in particular, are full of interesting entries.

For example in Ardkeen CI there was noted the burial entry of Henry Cleland, aged around four months old, in 1823 with a note by the minister that stated that he was “found dead in a field with a letter mentioning his name. Perished from cold and hunger; Coroner's inquest wilful murder.”

Occupations were sometimes recorded, especially if the deceased was in the military or the clergy. Ballyculter CI’s burial register occasionally contained the occupation of the deceased, particularly if they were servants, for example in 1818 Daniel Kain “Lord Bangor’s man”, William Wilson “gardener to Mr Price” and Roger Wade “steward to Mr Hoey” were all buried. This may be the only record of their employment which now exists.

Carrickfergus CI’s register contained an entry of the burial in May 1776 of Mr McCracken, “the buckle beggar”. A buckle beggar was someone who performed marriage ceremonies “in a clandestine and irregular manner”.

The history of a local area can also be seen through the Church records. For example one can see in the Blaris (Lisburn) CI register the arrival of the Duke of Schomberg’s army in September 1689 by the increase of the deceased who were serving in that army. These were not only soldiers, for example in December 1689 John Redbird “master baker to [the] Duke of Schomberg” died and in January 1690 Thomas Mansfield, “one of King William’s bakers” was buried.

In coastal parishes, we find the burial records of sailors, fishermen and those who had drowned. For example in Ballyhalbert CI, in January 1864 there was the burial of three men who were shipwrecked including John Morrison from Douglas on the Isle of Man. In this register we also find the burials of two men from the HM Cruiser Bayano which was torpedoed by a German submarine in 1915. Donaghadee CI’s burial register contains an entry for James Conlin, a tide-waiter (customs officer) who was “killed by a fall on the quay” in October 1783.

In the majority of entries the cause of death was not recorded, but unusual incidents were often noted by the minister. For example in Ballyphilip CI we find Patrick Kelly, aged 15 years from Portaferry who died in June 1876 from “a fall from a velocipede” (an early bicycle). Carrickfergus CI’s register details the burials of four men in October 1752 who were “killed with the bursting of a cannon”. Magheralin CI’s records contain an entry for Edward Lunn, an innkeeper who was buried in July 1817; he “died suddenly at Maze races”. Down CI’s burial register contains information on John McKenzie, the son of Prudence Coslett, who was buried in June 1765 after he “fell off the Abbey”.

In the majority of entries the cause of death was not recorded, but unusual incidents were often noted by the minister. For example in Ballyphilip CI we find Patrick Kelly, aged 15 years from Portaferry who died in June 1876 from “a fall from a velocipede” (an early bicycle). Carrickfergus CI’s register details the burials of four men in October 1752 who were “killed with the bursting of a cannon”. Magheralin CI’s records contain an entry for Edward Lunn, an innkeeper who was buried in July 1817; he “died suddenly at Maze races”. Down CI’s burial register contains information on John McKenzie, the son of Prudence Coslett, who was buried in June 1765 after he “fell off the Abbey”.

Many of the burial records also contain the name of the father, husband or next of kin of the deceased, providing additional information on each family. Some also record ages at death and occasionally occupations.

(With thanks to the UHF)

Chris

For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Genetic genealogy online course from the University of Strathclyde

News of an online genetic genealogy course being offered later this year by the University of Strathclyde:

Genetic genealogy: an introduction
10 credit points (at Level SCQF 7)

This new online class aims to impart a working knowledge of the scientific and technological aspects of genetic genealogy and teach the skills needed to interpret DNA test results for genealogy.

The course will cover the following topics, amongst others

• understanding DNA for genetic genealogy
• Y-chromosome, mtDNA, and atDNA tests
• analysing test results
• future of genetic genealogy

For those interested in gaining accreditation, there is an option to gain 10 credits at SCQF level 7 on the satisfactory completion of 2 assessments.

From Monday 06 October 2014 & Monday 13 April 2015
for 8 weeks

Fee: £145 (ILA eligible)

Further details or to participate at http://www.strath.ac.uk/courses/yourfamilyhistory/

(With thanks to Ali MacDonald)

Chris

For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

Second British GENES monthly podcast now available

The second edition of my new monthly British GENES podcast is now available, and I've tried to step things up a wee bit!

In this month's edition, loosely themed on the topic of co-operation and collaboration, I'm running with the following - there are two interviews recorded in Portugal at the second Genealogy in the Sunshine event, with Peter Calver of Lost Cousins (www.lostcousins.com), and Else Churchill of the Society of Genealogists (www.sog.org.uk); information on the Scottish Genealogy Network; and why you should use family history societies, and where to find them.

Oh, and of course, most importantly, my congratulations to Ireland for winning the Six Nations (apologies - includes my really bad bodhrán playing)!

This podcast, at just over 30 minutes in length, is presented below:



It can also be directly accessed at https://soundcloud.com/chrismpaton/genes-podcast-02-25-mar-2015, where you can listen to it or download it to your device.

As well as being hosted on Soundcloud, the British GENES podcasts are also now available on iTunes, again, free of charge. Simply search for British GENES and it should be found in the podcasts category - or you can subscribe directly with the following RSS feed - http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:100412349/sounds.rss

Enjoy, and please do let me know what you think!

Chris

For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.

Coleraine FHS monumental inscriptions collection online

A huge thanks to Eddie Connolly (of Eddie's Extracts fame) for sharing a link via Facebook to a series of monumental inscriptions that have been placed online for several graveyards in the greater Coleraine area in Northern Ireland, as recorded by the Coleraine branch of the North of Ireland Family History Society.

I have a few connections to the region and have already found a few Watton named stones of potential interest. The link to the collection is at http://colerainefhs.org.uk/?page_id=110864

Chris

For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. To commission me for genealogical research, please visit my research site at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk.