Wednesday, 21 June 2017

My WDYTYA article on free online Scottish genealogy resources

Who Do You Think You Are? magazine has published online the first part of my article detailing the top 50 resources available for Scottish genealogy and family history research online. The online presentation notes the first 17 resources, and can be freely read at www.whodoyouthinkyouaremagazine.com/blog/17-best-free-online-scottish-resources.

For the full article, please seek out July's edition of the magazine, available at all good newsagents, or at http://www.whodoyouthinkyouaremagazine.com/issue/july-2017.


Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at https://www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102.
For details on my Scottish & Irish genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.
For my genealogy research service, please visit http://www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

TheGenealogist adds York Colour Tithe Maps and Yorkshire Directories

From TheGenealogist (www.thegenealogist.co.uk):

TheGenealogist releases York Colour Tithe Maps and Yorkshire Directories.

TheGenealogist is very pleased to announce the release of the City of York and Ainsty Colour Tithe Maps, plus another significant batch of Yorkshire directories released in time for the Yorkshire Family History Show at York Racecourse.

To coincide with the return of one of the largest family history events in England, at the Knavesmire Exhibition Centre at the York Racecourse on the 24th of June and which is sponsored by TheGenealogist, today sees the release of a set of new records for York.

TheGenealogist has just added the colour tithe maps that cover the City of York and Ainsty to its National Tithe Records collection to compliment the gray scale maps and apportionment books that are already live. In addition it has released another 23 residential and commercial directory books to its ever expanding collection of Trade, Residential and Telephone Directories to help those with Yorkshire ancestors find their addresses.

The fully searchable records released online will allow researchers to:

● Find plots of land owned or occupied by ancestors in early Victorian York and Ainsty on colour maps

● See where your forebears lived, farmed or perhaps occupied a small cottage or a massive estate.

● Discover addresses of ancestors before, between and after the years covered by the census in the Trade, Residential and Telephone Directories. (1735-1937)

● Uncover details of the neighbourhood and understand communication links to other towns where your stray ancestor may have moved to.


TheGenealogist’s National Tithe Record Collection covers all counties of England and Wales and so can be used to find where your English and Welsh ancestors lived at the time that this great survey took place between 1837 and the mid 1850s. The Trade, Residential & Telephone directories also encompass the whole country and can be useful both as research tool and as a valuable insight into the lives of our ancestors. They are a useful resource for tracing ancestors, particularly if they had a distinctive trade and can be used as a census substitute for the years prior to 1841 or after 1911 and also to provide information on their whereabouts between census years.

For anyone with Yorkshire ancestors this new release from TheGenealogist adds colour to the story of where their family lived. To search these and the vast number of other records covering the country see more at https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk.

(With thanks to Nick Thorne)

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at https://www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102.
For details on my Scottish & Irish genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.
For my genealogy research service, please visit http://www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk.

Congratulations to Maureen Selley!

A belated congratulations to everyone's favourite Time Lady, Maureen Selley, on being awarded a British Empire Medal in the most recent Honours list, for "Services to Local History".

Maureen has been a long running volunteer with Devon Family History Society (www.devonfhs.org.uk), of which she is the current Secretary and a former Chairman. She's also a bundle of fun, and thoroughly dedicated to helping others with their family history pursuits - and more importantly, for this particular genie, a fellow Whovian!  I've had the pleasure to meet and chat with Maureen on several occasions in recent years, both at Who Do You Think You Are Live? events, and in Portugal at the Lost Cousins conferences in 2014 and 2015, and this is most certainly a thoroughly deserved recognition by the state for all of her past and continuing efforts.

The formal announcement is available in the London Gazette at https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/61962/supplement/B31.

Well done Maureen!

(With thanks to Wendy Archer at Oxfordshire FHS)

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at https://www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102.
For details on my Scottish & Irish genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.
For my genealogy research service, please visit http://www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Forces War Records - genealogy discounts page

Forces War Records has a genealogy discounts page, allowing you to gain discounts on subscriptions to various UK based family history services and magazine subscriptions. Included in the offer are discounts to TheGenealogist Diamond subscripiton, as well as discounts for subscriptions to Family Tree and Who Do You Think You Are magazine subscriptions.



To access the discounts page, visit https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/genealogy-discounts.

(With thanks to Jennifer Holmes)

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at https://www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102.
For details on my Scottish & Irish genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.
For my genealogy research service, please visit http://www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk.

Free University of Strathclyde genealogy course

The University of Strathclyde is about to start its free genealogy MOOC (massive open online course) for the fourth time - here's the blurb:

Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree

This free online course offered by the University of Strathclyde and FutureLearn will help you develop an understanding of basic genealogy techniques and how to communicate your family history. Starts the 3rd of July and runs for 6 weeks. The course has recently been updated to include more information on autosomal (or ‘cousin matching’) DNA testing. So far more than 50,000 students worldwide have participated!

Learn more and sign up at: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/genealogy

(With thanks to Tahitia McCabe)

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at https://www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102.
For details on my Scottish & Irish genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.
For my genealogy research service, please visit http://www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk.

200 years of Jewish communities in Scotland

A quick plug for a series of local talks this week by Michael Tobias to commemorate 200 years of Jewish communities in Scotland. The talks are being held as follows:

Dunfermline - Monday 19th June, 6.30pm
Falkirk - Tuesday 20th, 6.30pm
Ayr - Thursday 22nd, 6.30pm

For further details call 077245 49817, email events@scojec.org or visit www.scojec.org/events.html.



(With thanks to @SCoJeC)

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at https://www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102.
For details on my Scottish & Irish genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.
For my genealogy research service, please visit http://www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk.

Applying for an Irish passport

Today the Brexit negotiation process finally got underway. As someone personally appalled at the prospect of being taken out of the EU against my will, and as someone who has long struggled with my identity (as to whether I am British or Irish), I finally exercised my right last year to apply for Irish passports for myself and my two sons. We now have dual citizenship, confirming our Irish connection as well as our UK one, and maintaining EU access and rights for myself and my two boys. (I appreciate others may have a different view!)



The Belfast Telegraph is noting that the number of applications for Irish passports is not slowing up, with 833 applicants on one day alone in March (see http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/833-irish-passport-applications-from-ni-in-a-day-35839433.html). Over the course of my own application I blogged a series of posts detailing the process (as an applicant in Scotland), including what ancestral connections qualify you to apply for a passport, and which genealogical records you may need for the process. If you too are interested in obtaining an Irish passport, my posts are still available at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/claiming-irish-passport-1.html - links to subsequent posts are at the end of the first article.

Good luck if you choose to go for it!


Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at https://www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102.
For details on my Scottish & Irish genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.
For my genealogy research service, please visit http://www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk.

The spelling of Irish townlands in deeds

I've been doing quite a bit of personal research over the last few weeks using the Irish Registry of Deeds records which are now available on FamilySearch at https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/185720. They are a fascinating resource, and although I have occasionally used the microfilm copies of the records in the past at PRONI in Belfast, the digitised returns make research much easier, with the records themselves much easier to read off a screen than on a microfilm reader!

Although some deeds have been indexed by the ongoing Registry of Deeds project at http://irishdeedsindex.net, the majority have not, and you need to work through the land indexes or name indexes manually, before consulting the relevant deeds memorials. Amongst my latest finds, I've discovered an original deed recorded by the Irish Land Commission noting the purchase of Killonerry Farm, Co. Kilkenny, by my wife's widowed great great grandmother Bridget Prendergast from the Earl of Bessborough in May 1892. The mortgage was for £2650, on interest of 'three and one eighth per cent', to be paid back over 49 years. The record also notes that the farm had previously been leased from the Earl's estate by her husband Thomas Prendergast in May 1868 for 31 years, although additional evidence from other sources (the Munster Express, and tithe records) confirms the family had held the property from much earlier in the 1820s.

I've written a detailed article on how to use the online version of these records for a forthcoming edition of Your Family History magazine, but I thought I would flag up something here that might help with Irish research across the board, and that is the complete lack of standardisation in Irish townland names that you might come across. Another branch of my wife's family also had a farm in a separate townland called Tybroughney, in Co. Kilkenny. When you Google the name 'Tybroughney' today, the returns will usually add the phrase 'statutory spelling Tibberaghny (Irish: Tiobra Fhachna)'. But don't for one moment think that that means there were two spelling variants for Tybroughney. In fact, if you look through the land index for the register of deeds, this is the sort of response you might get for various placenames..!



This is a short list from one of the compiled indexes, but there are other indexed years where there are even more variants listed for Tybroughney - the moral of the story here is to think laterally about the spelling of Irish place names when you go looking in the records, especially those for which they can't even agree on the spelling today!

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at https://www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102.
For details on my Scottish & Irish genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.
For my genealogy research service, please visit http://www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk.

The weeding of Scottish court records

The National Records of Scotland (www.nrscotland.gov.uk) has published an interesting blog post about the process of 'weeding' records that it collects each year from Scotland's sheriff courts.

Whilst all court registers are kept and preserved, not all original court files are retained, only those which have "historical, evidential or informational values". This is why in some cases, whilst you may find an initial summary record of a historic civil case, for example, the original case files themselves may not be available to consult at an archive. Weeding happens in many archives, across a range of record types, in order to save space within archives, and in many cases to actually make the research process easier (removing duplicates and unnecessary suport materials). Of course, from a genealogist's point of view, there may be a very different interpretation of what constitutes "historical, evidential or informational value" to what the state decides!

For more on the NRS story, visit the blog post by Jennifer Homewood, of the SCTS/NRS National Sheriff Court Records Survey, at https://blog.nrscotland.gov.uk/2017/06/19/weeding-scotlands-courts/.

The full policy on the weeding of court records by the NRS is also available online at https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/record-keeping/records-policies/selection-of-court-and-legal-records-policy.

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at https://www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102.
For details on my Scottish & Irish genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.
For my genealogy research service, please visit http://www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

National Library of Scotland updates Curious Travellers map

The National Library of Scotland (www.nls.uk) has updated its Curious Travellers map at http://curioustravellers.ac.uk/map/, to allow users a chance to follow in the footsteps of Johnson and Boswell as they toured around the country in 1773.



The four-year project was launched in September 2014 by the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies (CAWCS) and the University of Glasgow, with its priorty being the writings of Flintshire naturalist and antiquarian Thomas Pennant (1726-1798), who travelled across both Scotland and wales and recorded his observations along the way.

For more on the Curious Travellers project, visit http://curioustravellers.ac.uk/en/.

(With thanks to @natlibscotmaps)

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at https://www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102.
For details on my Scottish & Irish genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.
For my genealogy research service, please visit http://www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk.