Celebrating Burns night and Scottish Ancestry

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Its Burn’s night  tonight and so I began thinking about how my Scottish ancestors may have celebrated this important anniversary.

Burns Night falls on 25 January every year, the date having been chosen to coincide with the poet’s birthday, who was born on 25 January 1759.  According to Wikipedia Robert Burns, also known familiarly as Rabbie Burns, the National Bard, Bard of Ayrshire and the Ploughman Poet and various other names and epithets, was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. See: Wikipedia

To celebrate this anniversary I have sat down with a copy of Chris Paton’s new book: Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church & State Records. Pen & Sword November 2019

My Scotts ancestors are a fascinating bunch and so in the hope of being able to trace a bit more about them I have turned to the latest book written by the respected genealogist and writer who runs Scotland’s Greatest Story research service.

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book: Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church & State Records

It always bodes well when just a few pages into a genealogy book that the author manages to capture my attention by expanding my knowledge with a number of facts that I had not known and which allow me to experience that ‘light-bulb’ moment when I think: Ah that explains why…so and so. That was exactly what happened to me when reading this new Scottish ancestry book from Chris Paton, the well respected author and professional genealogist.

I have sometimes wondered why I had found an ancestor born on the continent in an European country, but who also appears within the Scottish records in Edinburgh. This publication has finally cleared it up for me. As the book points out, as well as the normal  civil records, that you would expect to find recorded at the General Record Office for Scotland (GROS), there are also a number of Minor Records that relate to Scots residing or working overseas in certain capacities, as well as those born at Sea (until a UK based authority took over births at sea in 1874).

Another point that I had not been fully aware of was that adoption in Scotland was not placed on a legal footing until the Adoptions of Children (Scotland) Act 1930 came into force. The book taught me that the NRS Register of Adoptions can only be consulted in person at the ScotlandsPeople Centre and it gave me other helpful details about researching adopted people in Scotland.

I was very interested to learn about the differences between Regular and Irregular Marriages and to understand the differences between a marriage by declaration, a betrothal followed by intercourse and a marriage by habit and repute. Again, to understand that there are a number of minor records of marriage that covered Scots people abroad I thought could be important when researching some of our ancestors living in foreign countries.

A fact  that I had not know until I read this book was that uniquely, in the British Isles, Scotland has a Register of Corrected Entries for its civil records. This would allow a name to be put right if it had been given incorrectly to the registrar at the time of registration. This seems so sensible as I am aware of a member of my family whose registered name was misspelt by her father when he registered it in the English system, with the records remaining incorrect to this day!

I was fascinated to read the brief history of the Church in Scotland, especially as I have a Scots ancestor who was an Episcopalian Bishop in Perthshire and now I see why his family were supporters of the Jacobite cause in 1745-46. Other ancestors of mine from Scotland were Covenantors and so I have been given a better understanding of their religious leaning. Previously I had only noted them in the records where I had found them, be it in Church of Scotland parishes, the Scottish Episcopal Church or others. I had not fully understood the various factions that had broken away from the State Kirk and how, even in the branch of my family tree that was Scots, that my ancestors may have had different views on religion from each other.

When looking at the Old Parish Records, which I have done for a number of my ancestors who were married before civil registration took place in January 1855, Chris Paton suggests in this book that we researchers should always consult both the marriage register and the Kirk session minutes “even if there appears to be nothing out of the ordinary with the marriage record”. His example of a couple who tried to get away with banns being read twice on one Sunday, because of their hurry to be married before the baby was born, made me smile.

The advice that Church of Scotland registers may also contain the names of dissenting couples whose banns are being read is yet another example of how educating this volume was for me. The author suggests that we pay careful attention to the name of the minister that performed their marriage as this can reveal the denomination of the church that the wedding actually took place within. Should the minister’s name differ from the incumbent of the Parish Church, in whose register the banns had been published, then the minister’s name can lead us to find the nonconformist church or chapel where the marriage took place.

There is so much more that I could have brought up in this short review that I found interesting in this book, from understanding Land Tenure and the chapters on Inheritance and Law and Order.

I thoroughly recommend that anyone with Scots heritage get hold of Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church & State Records as I am sure you wont be disappointed by it!

https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Scottish-Ancestry-through-Church-and-State-Records-Paperback/p/16848?aid=1101

 

 

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New Norfolk Records released online

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LATEST NEWS

TheGenealogist has just added over 500,000 individuals in a new release of Norfolk Parish Records with images of the original records in association with the Norfolk Record Office. TheGenealogist has transcribed them so that they are fully searchable by name and place.

Caister Church Norfolk

Caister Church, Norfolk

These East Anglian records feature the registers of baptisms, marriages and burials covering various parishes in Norfolk, allowing family history researchers from all over the world to search for their Norfolk ancestors online.

 

This release of new records accessible with TheGenealogist’s Diamond subscription includes 330,000 individuals from baptisms, 100,000 from marriages and 95,000 from burial records.

 

  • Search by name the transcripts linked to the original images
  • Uncover the dates for baptisms, marriages and burial events
  • Discover names of family members and in some cases occupations
  • Some of the surviving records stretch back into the 1500s

 

TheGenealogist’s release has added new records for Norfolk parishes which include baptisms, marriages, and burial records adding to hundreds of thousands of existing parish records for this area and millions of parish records for other counties.

 

Read the article I wrote for TheGenealogist’s on their site:

Norfolk Parish Registers finds the records of the millers at Docking Windmill

 

 

 

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The National Archives makes changes for ordering documents

NEWS:

 

The National Archives
The National Archives, Kew, U.K.

In the UK The National Archives (TNA) in Kew have announced changes to the ordering of documents and some people are not happy from a look at comments being made on Twitter!

Researchers that need to travel long distances to get to TNA seem to be worried by this trial as it will see the restrictions placed on the number of documents they can order. This, they say, will hinder their useful time spent dong research. The argument is that if a researcher is ordering documents on spec, not knowing if they are going to be useful until they have been delivered to the reading room and the researcher has been able to glance through them, then the restriction reduces the number of alternative documents that they can then order in that day. The reduction to twelve documents a day, plus twelve in advance, is not something that they welcome.

 

Collect your document from the locker assigned to your seat in the reading room
Collect your document from the locker assigned to your seat in the reading room

 

Here is the first part of the news item as posted on The National Archives website:

 

From Tuesday 31 March 2020, as part of a six-month trial, readers will be able to order a maximum of 12 documents for the same day, plus up to 12 documents ordered in advance (a maximum of 24 documents per reader per day).

There will be five document ordering slots available each day and you can order as many of your 12 same-day documents as you require in any of the slots. This means that if you have prepared your references you will be able to order 12 documents at the same time. Documents will be delivered at set times each day.

You will not need to finish your advance orders before ordering documents for the same day. The new document ordering and delivery times are listed below:

Document ordering slots Earliest availability in reading rooms
09:45–10:30 11:00–11:15
11:00–11:45 12:15–12:30
12:15–13:00 13:30–13:45
13:30–14:15 14:45–15:00
14:45–15:30 16:00–16:15

In order to facilitate these changes, same-day document ordering will start at 09:45 and finish at 15:30 each day. Advance ordering for the next day will also close at 15:30. Reading room opening times will be unaffected.

To prepare for these changes, we have looked closely at the average number of documents viewed by each reader per day (currently around eight documents each), and have identified new parameters to ensure that readers who plan their visit can conduct their research efficiently in the reading rooms. The proposed changes will give us the opportunity to supply documents to readers within dedicated delivery time slots throughout the day. This will allow us to maintain the collection appropriately so that we can ensure its preservation for future generations of researchers. We will be trialling these changes for six months from the end of March, during which time we will closely monitor reader usage and seek feedback from readers.

The majority of our readers already request records in advance of a visit in order to make the most of their day. If you are not already a user of the advance and bulk order services you can find details on our website on the how to order documents page. We have included a comparison breakdown of the changes overleaf.

 

They do, however, point out that their Bulk Ordering is not affected.

 

Read the full announcement on The National Archives’ website:

https://nationalarchives.gov.uk/about/news/changes-to-document-ordering/?fbclid=IwAR1Qm956NVxtyWmR_4ENJGcrNRjMjVRD5XAH_rMhjUlF4f3kf2Q52z7VwIQ

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Exploring the history of Eel Pie Island

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I was delighted to be able to write an article this week about a place that I find particularly fascinating: Eel Pie Island – that tiny islet that sits in the Thames at Twickenham.

It is not only the history of the place that intrigues me, but I also have some fond family memories of visiting the place as it was the home of some of my parent’s dearest friends in the late 1970s.

Eel Pie Island, I have since discovered was once the home of a an Inn that turned into a hotel. This hotel then became famous in the British music scene before going into decline only to be torn down and redeveloped in the 1970s.

Using a combination of records, however, I have found a little about the family that developed the business that changed the island’s name from the Ait at Twickenham to what it is known as today

You can find the article here at TheGenealogist’s Featured Article pages.

Eel Pie Island
Eel Pie Island hotel until its sale in 1899 from TheGenealogist’s Image Archive

 

 

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New Searchable War Memorials

 

 

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NEWS:
Press Release from TheGenealogist

New Searchable War Memorials

TheGenealogist has just released over 12,000 records from 138 War Memorials. This means that there are now a total of over 580,000 individuals on War Memorials that are fully searchable in TheGenealogist’s Military records with photographs centred on their inscription. These memorials can give researchers an insight into education, rank, regiment and occupation of an ancestor.

Red Deer 55th Street Cemetery Alberta, Canada - RAF Deaths At Penhold
Red Deer 55th Street Cemetery Alberta, Canada – RAF Deaths At Penhold

The War Memorial records will allow the family history researcher to discover:

● over 12,000 additional individuals recorded on War Memorials
● additional War Memorials from England and Canada
● fully searchable records which are transcribed from images of the tributes
● colour images of the memorial centred on their name
● a variety of memorials in honour of the war dead from various conflicts

The Map Explorer™ on TheGenealogist can also be used to locate all the War Memorials on georeferenced historic and modern maps making them easy to find. The War Memorial database includes names from the Boer War, the First World War and World War II. This latest release from TheGenealogist covers war memorials from various parts of the UK, particularly West Yorkshire, County Durham and East Sussex as well as Canada.

This new release covers memorials that are not all set in stone or cast in iron. There is the WW1 memorial volume book held in Darlington Central Library for Pease and Partners of Darlington. This firm owned mines, quarries and other works all over County Durham and Teesside. This particular memorial is useful to a researcher wanting to “break down barriers” as it not only gives the rank and regiment of the man, but also gives his place of occupation (which particular mine, quarry, or works they had been employed in) which could aid a researcher to try to get the employment record for an ancestor – the volume is divided into sections for the 543 men who died, over 4,100 who served and details of the medals awarded to 134 of them.

Other employment War Memorials in this release include: Yorks & Lancs Railway locomotive works at Horwich where 122 employees were killed in WW1 and in London the Worshipful Company of Armourers and Braziers recording 37 men who were killed or served in WW1 and WW2.

1914 1919 The Great War: Liverymen and Freemen of the Worshipful Company of Armourers and Brasiers
1914 1919 The Great War: Liverymen and Freemen of the Worshipful Company of Armourers and Brasiers

Additional School and college War Memorials added this time include Petworth Boys school, which commemorates 2 teachers and 28 pupils killed in 1942 when the school was destroyed by enemy action, and King’s College Cambridge where 345 students or former students etc. are commemorated having been killed in both the First and Second World War.

Of further note are War Memorials in Pimlico, London where 67 men from a Peabody Estate who were killed in WW1 are recorded. There is an interesting set of stained glass windows in Grimsby Minster dedicated to 25 Grimsby men lost in WW2 who were members of various clubs such as the Grimsby Cyclists’ Club. In this release there is a memorial in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada to 35 men of the RAF killed there during their training and in Eastbourne Town Hall there is a roll of 180 civilians or firefighters etc. killed there in WW2 by enemy action.

These records are available to Diamond subscribers of TheGenealogist as part of their large Military Records collection.

Read TheGenealogist’s article: Using War Memorials to research ancestors from the First World War

 

 

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Lost Irish Records to be recreated

Four Courts Fire From Wikimedia Commons

 

As anyone that has done some Irish family history research knows, there is a terrible problem caused by the destruction of many of the records that were formally held at the Four Courts building in Dublin in 1922 by fire.

This week the welcome news from Ireland is that they think that they will be able to recreate a huge number of them!

Any one who knows their history is aware that the fire happened during the Civil War when the west wing of the building that once held the four courts caught on fire. This had been where the Public Records Office (PRO) had been for Ireland and it had been the home of many genealogical treasures including the Irish census returns, originals of Irish wills dating to the 16th century, as well as in excess of 1,000 Church of Ireland parish registers containing baptism, marriage and burial records and many, but not all, were lost.

The destruction happened on 30 June 1922 when, after a two-day bombardment, an explosion and then a huge fire ravaged the building. For the benefit of those that aren’t aware, the Irish Civil War was the conflict that followed on from the Irish War of Independence and occurred as a reaction to the establishment of the Irish Free State, an entity independent from the United Kingdom but within the British Empire. It was fought between the pro-treaty Provisional Government and the anti-treaty IRA over the Anglo-Irish Treaty.

 

Now, the new project, ‘Beyond 2022, Ireland’s Virtual Record Treasury’ has been launched. It is a collaborative project led by Trinity College Dublin in partnership with the National Archives of Ireland, The National Archives of the UK, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and the Irish Manuscripts Commission. It aims to re-imagine and re-create, through virtual reality, the archival collections that were lost.

To find out more have a look at this website: https://beyond2022.ie/

There are many reports in the media that give you more information on this exciting project such as this one by RTE, the Irish Broadcaster, that was the first one I saw, but not the last as many others have run the story:

https://www.rte.ie/news/ireland/2019/1205/1097086-beyond-2022-public-records/

 

Or you can have a look at this YouTube Video:

https://youtu.be/CXuExly6dl4

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Bedfordshire Colour Tithe Maps added to TheGenealogist

 

 

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NEWS:

TheGenealogist has just released a collection of Colour Tithe Maps for Bedfordshire to join the previously published greyscale maps in their National Tithe Records collection. This release of attractive colour digitised maps will provide the family historian with highly detailed plans sourced from The National Archives (TNA). TheGenealogist has linked these to the appropriate apportionment books that provide researchers with the details of the plots, their owners and their occupiers at the time that the survey was taken in Victorian times. These make the maps easier to understand as the streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, houses and trees are often highlighted in different colours. 

Subscribers to TheGenealogist’s Diamond membership can now select to view the latest colour or grayscale maps when using the Tithe & Landowner records for this county of England.

Colour Tithe Map of Eaton Bray, Bedfordshire

The new release covers:

  • Bedfordshire colour tithe maps showing plots of land 
  • The years 1837 to 1855 with some much later plans for any altered apportionments
  • Owners and Occupiers recorded means that all levels of society were surveyed 

 

These tagged colour maps join the previously released apportionment record books, national greyscale maps and colour maps for Warwickshire, Rutland, Huntingdonshire, Buckinghamshire, City of York, Middlesex, Northumberland, Surrey, Westmorland, and the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire. The National Tithe Records collection gives the family history researcher the ability to search by name and keyword (for example parish or county) to look for property holdings from large estate owners to occupiers of small plots such as a homestead, or a cottage.

Read the article: Bedfordshire Tithe Records pinpoint ancestors’ homes large and small at:

 

About TheGenealogist

TheGenealogist is an award-winning online family history website, who put a wealth of information at the fingertips of family historians. Their approach is to bring hard to use physical records to life online with easy to use interfaces such as their Tithe and newly released Lloyd George Domesday collections. 

TheGenealogist’s innovative SmartSearch technology links records together to help you find your ancestors more easily. TheGenealogist is one of the leading providers of online family history records. Along with the standard Birth, Marriage, Death and Census records, they also have significant collections of Parish and Nonconformist records, PCC Will Records, Irish Records, Military records, Occupations, Newspaper record collections amongst many others.

TheGenealogist uses the latest technology to help you bring your family history to life. Use TheGenealogist to find your ancestors today!

 

 About The National Archives

The National Archives is one of the world’s most valuable resources for research and an independent research organisation in its own right. As the official archive and publisher for the UK government, and England and Wales they are the guardians of some of the UK’s most iconic national documents, dating back over 1,000 years. Their role is to collect and secure the future of the government record, both digital and physical, to preserve it for generations to come, and to make it as accessible and available as possible. The National Archives brings together the skills and specialisms needed to conserve some of the oldest historic documents as well as leading digital archive practices to manage and preserve government information past, present and future.

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/  http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ 

For the latest stories, follow the Media Team on Twitter @TNAmediaofficer

 

 

 

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The National Archives Events

NEWS:

 

I was browsing the news email from The National Archives that I got this week and noticed that there are some really interesting events coming up. Here are just three that caught my eye.

 

 

The Song of Simon de Montfort
23 Jan, 19:30. Explore Simon De Montfort’s life as a great warrior, devoted family man, charismatic political leader and paragon of knightly piety through original documents. 

Dependence, intolerance and expulsion
24 Jan, 14:00. Learn about the stories of Medieval Jewish communities and why they fled England despite the protection of the Crown. This talk marks Holocaust Remembrance Day 2020 (27 January).  

The rise and fall of Thomas Cromwell
27 Feb, 19:30. Discover the myths around Cromwell’s meteoric career and the personal, political and religious motivations behind it.

 

The National Archives at Kew
The National Archives at Kew

 

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Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet

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Book Review:

Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians – Second Edition.

Pen and Sword have recently published Chris Paton’s updated second edition of his very useful book on Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet.

Many of us, more use to researching in other parts of these islands, approach Irish research with some trepidation because of the loss of so many of the records that could have helped find ancestors. Anyone in this position will be aided tremendously by reading this book as the author shows us that actually there are a vast number of records that we can turn to and access online from wherever we are in the world.

We discover that websites from the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, the National Archives of Ireland, subscription websites such as FindmyPast Ireland, Ancestry.co.uk and RootsIreland plus some of the volunteer family history community all provide us with ways to find our elusive Irish ancestors along with many others that without this book we may never find. 

I recommend reading this book to get an overview of the major archives, libraries, societies and commercial subscription websites. This volume will tell you where to look for Irish Births Marriages and Deaths, wills, newspapers, census, census substitutes. Discover more about land records and directories, occupations and in this second edition the author has added a new chapter on The Decade of Centenaries commemorating  the events that took place in the period from 1912 – 1923.

Chris Paton has filled the pages of this volume with a great deal of information that is truly valuable for the researcher – it is not just a list of websites, but is a valuable guide to carrying out your research on the island of Ireland.

By Chris Paton
Imprint: Pen & Sword Family History
Series: Tracing Your Ancestors
Pages: 192
Illustrations: 40
ISBN: 9781526757814
Published: 5th August 2019
Last Released: 23rd October 2019

https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-Family-History-on-the-Internet-Paperback/p/16483?aid=1101

 

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Hackney Area Lloyd George Domesday records added to TheGenealogist’s Map Explorer™

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Latest News:

 

 

TheGenealogist has just released the Hackney maps and field books into its property ownership and occupancy record set, The Lloyd George Domesday Survey. Family historians can use this unique online resource to see where an ancestor lived in the 1910-1915 period for a number of areas and will extend out across the country in time.

These records make use of TheGenealogist’s powerful new Map Explorer to access the maps and residential data, so that those who want to discover where their ancestors lived in the period before the First World War are able to see the district as it was in that period. Because these large scale maps include plots for the exact properties and are married to various georeferenced historical map overlays and modern base maps on the Map Explorer™,by using the opacity controls researchers can see how the land has changed. The Lloyd George Domesday Survey records are sourced from The National Archives and are being digitised by TheGenealogist.

 

Hackney Valuation Office Maps

 

This release includes the following areas: Clapton, Dalston, Hackney, Homerton, Hornsey South, Hoxton, Kingsland, Moorfields, South Hackney, Stamford Hill, Stoke Newington and West Hackney.

  • TheGenealogist’s Lloyd George Domesday Survey records zoom down to show individual properties on extremely detailed maps used in 1910-1915

 

  • Fully searchable by name, county, parish and street

 

  • The transparency slider reveals a modern street map underlay

 

  • Change the base map displayed to more clearly understand what the area looks like today

 

 

Read an article written by me for TheGenealogist about how the Hackney Landowner and Occupier records detail the last days of a Highwayman’s Inn.

 

 

 

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