Tuesday, 12 December 2006

Black Sheep Index

At the BIFHSGO monthly meeting on Saturday well over 100 enthusiastic members heard five presentations at the annual Great Moments in Genealogy session. It was gratifying to hear of progress made as a result of connections made at Society meetings. Some attributed their success to serendipity. When people tell me about lucking into a resource I recall the remark, attributed to Louis Pasteur, that "chance favours the prepared mind."

A resource new to me was mentioned by presenter Robert Brown. The Black Sheep Index is part of a commercial web site at: www.lightage.demon.co.uk/. It has indexes of 200,000 British villains and victims from newspapers and journals etc. There are also police, Great War, World War II, mining, railway, ships, publicans, church and medical indexes.

You can order copies of the articles indexed from the web site, but you might want to investigate if you already have access to the document or article. I found a reference to my great uncle who died in WW1, but the reference is likely to the citation for his Military Cross that I already have. In the example given in the presentation, from the railway index, the article returned was from the Times Digital Archive. There is public access to that electronic archive in Ottawa through Carleton University and the University of Ottawa. The year given in the index will help speed up the search.