Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Society of Genealogists to sponsor Secret Lives conference lectures

I recently announced details of the Secret Lives conference (see The following is the latest update from the organisers:

The Secret Lives conference team are delighted that the Society of Genealogists has agreed to sponsor the lecture stream in the Mayfair Suite.

Alec Tritton, conference chair said " It is thanks to such generous offers that we are able to have three streams of lectures. It gives delegates a fantastic choice of topics that would not have been possible without this".

June Perrin, CEO of the Society of Genealogists said "The Society of Genealogists is delighted to sponsor an invaluable additional stream of lectures at the conference. Our main remit is to help educate people on the subject of Genealogy and the diverse range of topics at the conference is another excellent way to achieve this. If you haven’t booked yet don’t miss out."

Founded in 1911 the Society of Genealogists (SoG) is Britain’s premier family history society. The Society maintains a splendid genealogical library and education centre in Clerkenwell in London.

Secret Lives: Hidden Voices of our Ancestors is a three day genealogical conference being held in the four star Jurys Inn, Hinckley Island, Leicestershire, UK from 31st August to 2nd September 2018.

Further details:

(With thanks to Alec Tritton)


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Irish Genealogy Virtual Conference 21st April

Next Saturday April 21st I will be participating in an Irish Genealogy Virtual Conference with several other speakers on Irish based topics. Sign up from anywhere in the world to take part, to learn a little and to enjoy the craic!

This is the programme (note the advertised times are Canadian based Eastern time - I've put UK/Ireland times in brackets after):

9:00-10.10 (UK/Ire 2-3.10pm) - Fintan Mullan presents Finding 17th Century Families in Ireland

10:25-11.35 (UK/Ire 3.25-4.35pm) - Gillian Hunt presents Using Church Records for Irish Genealogy Research

11:50-12.35 (UK/Ire 4.50-5.35pm) - Fiona Fitzsimons presents Finding Women in the Irish Records

1.15-2.20 (UK/Ire 6.15-7.20pm) - Chris Paton presents Using Irish Land Records for Genealogy Research

2:35-2.55 (UK/Ire 7.35-7.55pm) - Maurice Gleeson presents Making Online Resources Work for You

All presentations will be available for 72 hours after the end of the virtual conference to allow for time zone challenges and to make attending easier for people who are not able to commit to the full day.

To sign up, please visit The price to register is Can $79.

For details on special deals available from vendors throughout the conference, visit This includes 20% discount on all purchases from Global Genealogy, who publish my Unlock the Past books in Canada - details on these are available at

I'll hopefully see you there!

UPDATE: The timings have since been revised, and have been amended above.


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Waterford records added to FindmyPast

FindmyPast ( has added the following seventeen databases for those with an interest in Waterford, Ireland, from 1662 to 2006:

  • Freemen pre-1700 (1662-1700)
  • Freemen (1700-2006)
  • Freedom petitions (1824-1842)
  • Burgess list (1879-1893)
  • Langable rental (1832) – a langable was a term used for a rent roll
  • Register of electors – Waterford city (1900)
  • Register of electors – Centre Ward (1903)
  • Rate books (1906-1907)
  • Rate books – Centre Ward (1912)
  • Rate books – South Ward (1912)
  • Register of electors – Centre Ward (1913)
  • Register of electors – Custom Ward (1913)
  • City Council Members (1889-1895)
  • Trade directories (1824-1910)
  • Grave memorials/inscriptions
  • Lismore estate papers emigration record database (1815-1905) 

The collection is available to search at

Also released by FindmyPast this week:

New South Wales, Deceased Estate Files 1880-1923
Discover your ancestor in this index of over 137,000 deceased estate files from New South Wales. The records span the years between 1880 and 1923. Each result includes a transcript that may reveal a combination of your ancestor's date of death, duty date, locality and any additional remarks.

New Jersey Death Index 1901-1903 Image Browse
Explore over 1000 digital images of the New Jersey death index covering the years 1901 to 1903. This collection has been obtained through Reclaim the Records.

New Jersey Marriage Index 1901-1914 Image Browse
Explore over 7,000 digital images of the New Jersey marriage index covering the years 1901 to 1914. This collection has been obtained through Reclaim the Records.

Surrey Feet of Fines 1558-1760
Explore over 20,000 feet of fines records for Surrey created between 1558 and 1760. Feet of fines were documents of a fictitious suit of law created to obtain a secure transfer of land. The document recorded the final agreement (or concord), written in triplicate, between buyer and seller: two copies side by side and one copy across the bottom of the sheet (the foot of the fine). An indented or wavy line separated the three sections; one section was given to the seller, one to the buyer, and one (the foot) to the court. The idea behind this system was that forgeries could be identified by showing they didn't fit the three-piece jigsaw of the authentic, original foot of fine.

Cornwall Burials
Hundreds of new records have been added to our collection of Cornish burials. The collection now contains over 280,000 records covering more than two hundred parishes across the Cornish peninsula. The new additions cover Dissenter burials in Falmouth and Penryn between 1808 and 1926.

Further details and links at


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Thursday, 12 April 2018

FIBIS AGM and Open Lecture Meeting

From the Families in British India Society (

FIBIS AGM and Open Lecture Meeting – 16 June 2018

This years FIBIS AGM and Open Lecture Meeting will be held on Saturday 16 June at the Union Jack Club, Sandell St, Lambeth, London, GB SE1 8UJ. (View map) Please note that you MUST register your attendance in advance for security reasons.

10.30 FIBIS experts answer your research questions
12.00 Break for Lunch.
13.15 AGM
14:00 Presentation by Iain Shore on the refurbishment of the Jantar Mantar in Jaipur
15:00 Refreshment break
15:30 Paddy Walsh will present a film made by Mark Probett on the Cawnpore Massacre, to be followed by a short QA session

Please register your attendance online at If you experience any problems booking email

(With thanks to Valmay Young)


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Lives of the First World War project to end 2019

From the Imperial War Museum (, news of the Lives of the First World War project (​

Findmypast and Imperial War Museums’ groundbreaking Lives of the First World War project enters its final year

Findmypast and IWM call on members of the public to preserve as many stories as possible before submissions cease on 18 March 2019

Findmypast and Imperial War Museums today announced their groundbreaking collaboration, Lives of the First World War, will cease taking submissions on 18 March 2019. From this date onwards, IWM will act as the custodian of the millions of contributions made by members of the public, creating a permanent digital memorial that will always remain free to access.

Lives of the First World War was launched in 2014 as the IWM’s flagship digital centenary project. Since then it has captured the stories of more than 7.6 million men and women from across Britain and the Commonwealth who contributed their ‘toil and sacrifice’ during the First World War.

Charlotte Czyzyk, Public Engagement and Project Manager for Lives of the First World War, said:

"From factory workers and members of the armed forces, to medics and conscientious objectors, Lives of the First World War has curated over 2.2 million biographical details, anecdotes and images thanks to the contributions of more than 130,000 dedicated members. These rich, personal life stories will be preserved by IWMs for future generations, serving as a powerful and permanent record of the ‘lost generation’."

As the project enters its final year, Findmypast and IWM are calling on members of the public to help them preserve as many stories as possible. By joining Lives of the First World War and uploading scans of photos, letters and diaries, by researching a name on a local war memorial, or by sharing anecdotes passed down through the generations, family historians will contribute to a permanent digital memorial that will help shape our understanding of this important period of world history, both now and in the future."

(With thanks to Charlotte Czyzyk)


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Friday, 6 April 2018

1920 English and Welsh electoral register joins FindmyPast

New to FindmyPast ( this week:

England & Wales, Electoral Registers 1920
Over 6.7 million records – discover where your ancestors were living in a 1920 census substitute created from out exclusive collection of England & Wales electoral records. These newly indexed records can be searched by name, year, constituency, polling district and keyword.

Canadian Headstones Index
Over 1.8 million records – Search this index of Canadian headstones to discover when and where your ancestor died. This collection has been obtained through, presented by the Ontario Genealogical Society. Additional information about these records can be found on the source's website.

Sussex Registers & Records
Explore two fascinating publications – Parish Registers of Hove & Preston (1538-1812) and Parochial History of Chiddingly (1407-1847), to uncover baptisms, marriages, burials, memorial inscriptions, local histories and biographies of early figures from the county's history.

Warwickshire Registers & Records
Explore two fascinating publications – Historical Warwickshire, Its Legendary Lore, Traditionary Stories, and Romantic Episodes (published 1876) and History of Coventry (published 1870), and learn more about the history, legends and lore of William Shakespeare's birth county.

Surrey Registers & Records
Explore five publications – covering Beddington, Chipstead & Titsey, Gatton & Sanderstead, Richmond and Wimbledon. These compilations of parish registers date back to the mid 1500s and contain baptisms, marriages and burials from a variety of parishes across the county.

Suffolk Registers & Records
Explore seven publications – covering Bury St Edmunds, West Stow & Wordwell, Rushbrook, Ickworth, Denham and Chillesford. The collection includes Wills & Inventories, Hearth Tax returns and Parish records dating back to 1539.

New South Wales, Railway Employment Records
Over 700 records – Explore a register of salaried officers working for the New South Wales Government Railways and Tramways (1856-1890) and a personnel register for Darling Harbour (1909-1932) to uncover details of your ancestor's career on Australia's railroads.

Cardiganshire Burials
Over 1,514 Llanwenog monumental inscriptions 1768-1996 have been added to our collection of Cardiganshire Burials. The records will reveal a combination of your ancestors birth year, death date, burial date, burial location, residence, death place and relatives' names .

Further details at


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Monday, 2 April 2018

Looking for Annie Paton from Inverness

Everyone has a real bugbear with their family history. One of mine is my great aunt, Annie MacGillivray Paton, for whom I know very little. She was born in Belgium to my two Scottish great grandparents, and died in Inverness, having worked there in the aftermath of the Second World War at Menzies bookshop. So I'm hoping the reach of this blog post might generate a few answers!

Here is what I know about Annie:

Annie was born at 3.30pm on April 26th 1894 in Brussels, Belgium, to my grear grandparents, David Hepburn Paton (pictured right) and Jessie MacFarlane. The registration of her birth was on the 28th, witnessed by 37 year old Auguste Moreau, negociant, and 23 year old magasinier Charles Depoorter from Schaerbeek. The birth certificate reads:

Annie MacGillivray Paton, nee le vingt six dec mois a trois heures apres midi, rue de Marche Aux Herbes, no. 76, 4e Don; fille de David Hepburn Paton, gerant, ne a Blackford (Ecosse) et de Jessie MacFarlane, nee a Inverness (Ecosse), conjoints, residant meme maison et domiciles a Glasgow.

Sur la declaration du pere, age de vingt neuf ans.

En presence d' Auguste Moreau, negociant, age de trente sept ans, domicile a Bruxelles, et de Charles Depoorter, magasiniere, age de vingt trois ans, domicile a Schaerbreek.

At the time of her birth, her parents were living at Marche Aux Herbes.

In 1907 the family briefly relocated to Inverness in Scotland, and then to Glasgow in 1908. The 1911 census, taken on April 2nd, showed that Annie was by then residing at 108 Cumberland Street in the Gorbals with her mother and her father's brother Joseph and family.

The family returned to Belgium in mid-1911. Annie was still there when the Germans invaded just three years later in August 1914. After the death of her father in March 1916, Annie remained with her mother under a form of house arrest in Brussels, and was there for the whole war. Whilst there, she had to endure not only the death of her father, but the imprisonment of her younger brother John at Ruhleben camp in Germany, and the uncertainty of her brother William's war service with the army.

When the war was over, Annie returned to Glasgow with her mother and brother Charlie (my grandfather).

My aunt Sheila Cobby (nee Paton) recalled how when she was laid up in hospital with her childhood illness of polio, she received a collection of Beatrix Potter books from her Aunt Annie. Sheila never actually met her aunt, neither did my father.  From 1930 to 1939, Annie was recorded in the electoral registers as being resident at 6 Sunnybank Street, a tenement in Shettleston, Glasgow, along with her mother Jessie (and brother Charles until 1934/35).

Their cousin Joan West (nee Paton) however, recalls how Annie moved to Inverness with her mother Jessie Paton, nee McFarlane (Calum's and Jamie's great great granny) during the Second World War. With the outbreak of war, William Paton, Annie's brother, had insisted they go at once to the north, not wishing them to experience what they did during the prior war, and that they would be safer there from German bombs than in Glasgow. Annie and Jessie shared a house initially on South Street, Inverness, with a Mrs Murray, and were visited by Joan after the war when she was stationed at a Royal Naval base in Lossiemouth. Annie never married, and took up work in Inverness at Menzies bookshop.

Annie's grand nephew, Alan Paton, once told me how he and his grandfather William had visited her in Inverness in her latter days. Alan recalled that she had a very strong French accent still, after all the years she had been back in Scotland, and that she constantly berated her brother William for having no French at all - what she considered should have been his 'mother tongue'!! Alan also recalls seeing a portrait of Annie, painted when she was about 19, and says that in her youth, she was a beautiful woman. The whereabouts of this portrait is no longer known.

Annie eventually died on March 25th 1975 at her home in Inverness, with her death registered on the 28th by her cousin by marriage, Ann Cooney. The cause of death was bronchopneumonia, hypertension and carcinoma of the breast.

The following notice was placed on page one of the Inverness Courier on March 25th 1975:

PATON - Suddenly at Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, on the 24th March 1975, Annie Paton, 91a Bruce Gardens, Inverness. Service on Thursday, at 1.45pm., at Messrs D. Chisholm & Sons' Service Room, 10 George Street, Inverness; thereafter Funeral to Tomnahurich Cemetery. All friends respectfully invited.

Whilst I know a considerable amount about my grandfather Charles, and his brothers John and William, Annie is the mystery member of the family - I don't even have a photo of her or her mother Jessie Paton (nee MacFarlane).

If anyone has any further information about Annie and Jessie, or a photo, I'd love to hear from you!


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Gibraltar and Yorkshire records added to Ancestry

The following collections have been added to Ancestry (

Yorkshire, England: Church of England Parish Records, 1538-1873
Source: This information is compiled under licence from the printed parish registers published by the Parish Register Section of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society or the Yorkshire Parish Register Society (together "the Section").

This database is a collection of historical parish registers from Yorkshire, England. The records in this collection can range in date from the early 1500s to the mid- to late-1800s. Parish records--primarily baptisms, marriages, and burials--provide the best sources of vital record information in the centuries before civil registration. Baptismal records generally list the date of the baptism, the name of the child being baptized, and the name of the father. Marriage records generally include the date of the marriage and the names of the bride and groom. Burial records generally list the date of the burial and the name of the deceased individual. Occasionally burial records will include other bits of information, such as where the individual was from or if he/she was a widow.

Records from various parishes throughout Yorkshire will continually be added to this database for the next couple of months.

Web: Gibraltar, WWII Evacuee Embarkation Records, 1940
Source: accessed 5th February 2018.

Sourced from Gibraltar's National Archives. 15,021 embarkation records are included - see website for details.


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

FamilySearch adds to Devon and Cornwall marriages

FamilySearch has added 74,216 indexed entries to its existing England, Devon and Cornwall Marriages 1660-1912 collection, available at


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Getting to grips with DNA Painter

I've spent a bit of time this week looking further into the use of autosomal DNA for genealogical research, with some interesting results. I tested with AncestryDNA ( some time ago, but finally decided to upload my test results into both MyHeritage ( and FamilyTreeDNA ( On the back of all that I've certainly had a productive experience! Not only have I confirmed a long held theory concerning the sister of my father's grandmother, it would also seem that I am related to none other than well known Australian genealogist Shauna Hicks, which has just about knocked us both for six! (We're now trying to identify the exact connection!).

But the key learning point this week has been over chromosome browsers - offered by both MyHeritage and FamilyTreeDNA, but not Ancestry. On its site, Ancestry hopes to tell you if you are related to somebody when you have a matching segment of DNA with that person, and if they upload a tree for you to look for a common ancestor. Unfortunately, unlike the other two named DNA companies, it doesn't actually tell you on which chromosomes such matches can be found. Its reasons for doing so seem to include privacy concerns and its belief that 'nobody will use it'. However, I've actually found it fascinating to be able to determine which parts of shared DNA fit into which chromosomes, which to me seems a handy thing to be able to use to try to predict where other folk may be related to you when they don't have an accompanying family tree.

Using results from MyHeritage, FamilyTreeDNA and GEDmatch (, I've managed to identify a few cousins with common ancestors, who I know are confirmed. Using a free tool called DNA Painter (, as recommended by genealogist Rosemary Morgan, I have been trying to build up my ancestral profile, and in so doing have learned a hell of a lot more about how autosomal DNA is passed on, and things to look out for when trying to interpret results. I'm not just passively waiting to be told when I have a match.

I've read and heard many reasons why Ancestry won't add a chromosome browser - but I can't help feeling now that as a DNA site, it seems somewhat naked without one...


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at