Sunday, 19 August 2018

Book Review: Tracing Your Ancestors: Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk & Suffolk

This guide for family historians is a re-titled and thoroughly revised edition of the 2009 Pen and Sword published book Tracing Your East Anglian Ancestors. Author Gill Blanchard has long experience in the area's genealogy having  previously worked at the Norfolk Record Office.

A first chapter, East Anglian Archives, looks at the resources the genealogist will need when researching in the region.

The following chapters, starting with a general introduction to the history and geography of the region, treats the information and resources the family historian needs in understanding the life of their ancestor. It does so by topic: work, trade and commerce, conflicts that have shaped the region, crime, the poor, migration and education. A chapter on local government describes some of the records generated through the administration of local affairs. Other chapters cover railways and the effect of urbanization on housing. A final longer chapter on religion covers the various creeds and denominations found in the region. Many of these chapters cover the topic by county and all end with sections "finding out more" and "bringing it to life."

Mention of valuable resources, sometimes quite local that would be known only to someone with in-depth knowledge of the region are scattered through the book. They are brought together in a Resource Directory at the end that includes contact details for the archives, websites and places of interest mentioned.

I'd not hesitate to recommend this book to someone starting to search their East Anglian family history, and even the experienced researcher will find it a useful reference.

Pages: 229
ISBN: 9781473859999
Published: 16th April 2018

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

FamilySearch’s Strategy to Help Preserve the World’s Archives

A Genome-Wide Analysis of Liberal and Conservative Political Attitudes (speculative).
The results point toward NMDA and glutamate related receptors (on chromosome 4) as being worthy of further examination.

'Millennia of human activity': heatwave reveals lost UK archaeological sites

As of 17 August wildfires in British Columbia have burnt 577,333 hectares, an increase from 436,903 hectares over the previous day. Comparison with this table shows that this year is second only to last in hectares burnt since 2007, and the season isn't near over. There's a graphic showing wildfire trends in California here.

How to protect your brain from 'fake news'

What is nothing? Martin Rees Q&A

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Findmypast adds to Britain, Directories & Almanacs

There are now more than 255 almanacs and directories in this Findmypast collection of trade directories, county guides, almanacs and general directories. This addition of over 329,000 records brings the total to 574,469.

Included are Whitaker’s, Thom’s, Boyle’s, Kelly’s, and Pigot’s directories from Anguline Research Archives, Gould Genealogy, Yorkshire Ancestors, Eneclann, Devon Family History Society, and Explore York Libraries and Archives.

Most are county directories, sometimes for two or three counties. Earlier directories only include prominent people, tradesmen, people who held office, and business owners while the later ones are more comprehensive. The results are delivered as a link to a pdf with the hit NOT highlighted.

A few of the directories are national in scope including four 20th century volumes of Kelly's Handbook to the Titled, Landed & Official Classes and two volumes of the Newspaper Press Directory.

When searching directories don't overlook the large free collection Historical Directories of England & Wales from the University of Leicester. That collection is available though Ancestry which has a better search interface.

Findmypast adds England, Clandestine Marriages

Findmypast now has this collection from The National Archives series RG 7.
It contains 881,896 clandestine marriage records covering the years 1667 to 1775, most conducted at or nearby London’s Fleet Prison for debtors and bankrupts by inmates who were ordained clergymen, but without banns or licence.
Each result provides a transcript and image of the original hand-written record. Records give a combination of the couple's names, marital conditions, occupations and residences, but should be treated with caution. It was not unknown for entries to be inaccurate such as post-dated.

See the description of the RG 7 collection at TNA.

LAC Signatures Series: Brian Mulroney

The Right Honourable Brian Mulroney will be the guest of Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada, as part of the Signatures Series, which features interviews with people who have donated their archives to LAC.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018
12:15 pm to 1:15 pm
Library and Archives Canada
395 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario

 Places for this free event are limited, so be sure to register.

Friday, 17 August 2018

TheGenealogist adds to Court and Crimianal Records collection

Following is from a press release from TheGenealogist.

TheGenealogist is adding to its Court and Criminal Records collection with the release of over 160,000 records of prisoners at the bar and their victims from the CRIM 9 records held by The National Archives. These documents were created by the Central Criminal Court and document the After Trial Calendar of Prisoners.  

Central Criminal Court; The Old Bailey

After Trial Calendars give family history researchers details of ancestors who were up before the Old Bailey, revealing the names of prisoners that had appeared before the court, the committing magistrates, offences the prisoner had been indicted for, the date of their trial and who they were tried before. The records give the verdict of the jury, previous convictions and the sentence or order of the court. Other information in these records are the names of the victim and the level of education or ‘Degree of Instruction’ as well as false names that the criminals may have used to try and hide their tracks from the authorities.

Use the After Trial Calendar of Prisoners records to
Find ancestors accused of crimes ranging from stealing a matchbox to murder
Discover people standing trial as forgers, baby farmers, German spies and more
Uncover some of the aliases adopted by criminal ancestors
See the occupation or trade of the offender
Research records covering the period 1855-1915

Comment:  The free Old Bailey Online website provides the Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 1674-1913 in a fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published. Some of the CRIM 9 records are also at Findmypast.

Find it in a Library?

Most serious genealogists will have the catalogues of some libraries bookmarked. That will certainly include the local public library and likely local university libraries.

If you research a particular area away from where you live you may find publications of interest in that community's public library. Although there are lists of libraries I find it easier to just search online for the town name and the word library. Thanks to the magic of search that will usually find it even if the library catalogue is held at the county or other administrative level.

On a broader scale OCLC WorldCat connects you to the collections and services of more than 10,000 libraries worldwide. The Ottawa Public Library is listed as an OCLC library, but I'm told any information WorldCat has on their holdings is not up to date. WorldCat list the McGill University Library as third most often selected as a favorite by WorldCat users, and first in Canada.

OCLC now hosts Canada's National Union Catalogue - Voilà. While the old database AMICUS remains the primary source for Library and Archives Canada’s cataloguing records that's only for a few more weeks — until October 2018.

In the UK Copac exposes rare and unique research material by bringing together the catalogues of over 100 major UK and two Irish libraries. In a single search you can discover the holdings of the UK’s national libraries (the British Library and National Libraries of Scotland and Wales), many University libraries, and specialist research libraries.

For the genealogist there are specialist libraries, perhaps the library of a genealogical society in which you're a member. For the UK don't overlook SoGCat from the Society of Genealogists.

Digitized books are available from several virtual library sources through the catalog search on the Internet Archive, Google Books and Family History Books from the LDS.

Do you have any other library catalog(ue) sources I've overlooked?

Thursday, 16 August 2018

BIFHSGO Conference 2018

If you're an economy-minded last-minute type of person ... your time has come.

The deadline for a discount on early registration for the BIFHSGO conference is 23:59 EDT on Friday 17 August. It will cost you an extra $30 if you decide to register after that date.

Start registration here.

BIFHSGO members remember to sign in to your account to receive the additional member discount.

Family Tree Magazine - September Issue

Here are some of the articles featured in the new look September issue.

Tracing workhouse lives 
Gill Blanchard, author of Tracing your Ancestors, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk : A Guide for Family Historians, draws of many examples from Norfolk and Suffolk in discussing the documentation to be found for those who fell under the workhouse system.

Making a "Home Sweet Home"
Jayne Shrimpton summarizes the textile creations to be found in the home made by generations of female forebears.

Discover Court Records
Chris Paton writes a "beginners guide to advanced records." Covering both ecclesiastical and civil courts for Britain and Ireland. Scotland receives particular attention.

Interpreting Ethnicity
Using tests from Family Tree DNA and Living DNA Geoff Wicks explores his ethnicity results. Having traced all sides of his family history back between 200 and 250 years in England he compares the geographical distribution from Living DNA with the distribution of his grandparents surnames. Considering that the DNA he carries goes back hundreds of years, encompassing many more than just four grandparents surnames, discrepancies are to be expected.

Hush Hush, Nudge Nudge, Wink Wink
The story of Adèle Emm's search for information on her father's work as a member of the Home Office Intelligence Unit in World War II. Some small progress was made through the county record office.

Masterclass on Restoring Old Photos
Mike Bedford offers basic guidance using the PC app

As always, there's much more in the issue than covered here. Find out about subscribing to Family Tree.

Rideau Lakes Cemetery Genealogy Day

Google maps found the address for these cemeteries but in most cases the cemetery wasn't clear from the satellite or street view images.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

CEF Service Files Digitization Update for August 2018

They did it. As of 8 August LAC announce the completion of the digitization of all Canadian military personnel records from the Great War.

CEF service files are available, from AABEL, NEILS to ZUBIK, NICHOLAS W and everyone in between, each containing, on average, 49 images, for a total of over 32,000,000 images or almost 617 terabytes of scanned information.

LAC is claiming "more than 620,000 files" with the precise number 622,290. That's up from 608,399 on 15 July.

You may have wondered why the number is less than the 630,000 previously mentioned as the total. Library and Archives Canada combined the documents of members who had enlisted multiple times and had more than one file.

We wait to learn what major new digitization project will be next.