Battle of Britain RAF Operations Record Books (ORBs) released on TheGenealogist

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NEWS:  Press Release from TheGenealogist

To mark the 80th anniversary of the start of the Battle of Britain (10 July 1940 – 31 October 1940)  TheGenealogist is releasing over 2 million new RAF records. These records not only cover this important fight for Britain’s survival, but also encompass all of the Second World War period for a number of squadrons. This release brings the total ORBs records to 3.7 million and are part of TheGenealogist’s extensive Military records collection.

The ORBs are fully searchable by name, aircraft, location and many other fields, making it easy for researchers to find their aviation ancestors. These ORBs are the latest release to join TheGenealogist’s large military records collection which is always being expanded.

Image of a Hawker Hurricane I R4118 of No 605 Squadron.  Image: Arpingstone / Public domain
Hawker Hurricane I R4118 of No 605 Squadron.  Image: Arpingstone / Public domain

The fascinating pages from these diary-like documents tell the stories of brave aircrew, including those at the time of the Battle of Britain, 10 July 1940 – 31 October 1940. Recording patrols flown, the daily journal records give insights into the everyday lives of the personnel on bases. Researchers can use the collection to follow an airman’s war time experiences from these fully searchable Air Ministry Operations Record Books which cover various Royal Air Force, dominion and Allied Air Force squadrons that came under British Command. Sourced from The National Archives the AIR 27 records allow the family history researcher an interesting insight into relatives who had served in air force units under wartime conditions. 

The ORBs provide a summary of daily events. Some are ordinary entries, such as the names of new pilots posted to the squadron, entertainment on the base, or even noting the fact that an officer has become engaged. Sadly, these ORBs also record the death of pilots, crashes, or names of airmen that were missing in action. As names of personnel are recorded in these reports, for a family history researcher wanting to follow where an ancestor was posted to and what may have happened to them in the war, ORBs are often very enlightening documents. 

Use these records to: 

      • Read the war movements of personnel in air force units
      • Discover if a pilot, navigator, radio operator or gunner is mentioned in the action
      • Find if an airman is listed for receiving an Honour or an Award
      • Add colour to an aircrewman’s story 
      • Note the names of squadron members wounded, killed, or did not return
      • Easily search these National Archives records and images

Read my article written for TheGenealogist: Ace in a day

These records and many more are available to Diamond subscribers of TheGenealogist.co.uk

 

 

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Kensington & Chelsea 1910 Lloyd George Domesday Records with maps

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Latest News:

 

 

Kensington & Chelsea 1910 Valuation Office (Lloyd George Domesday) Records with maps added online

   

Map Showing the areas covered in this latest release (red) and current total coverage (green)

TheGenealogist is releasing the field books and detailed annotated maps for Kensington and Chelsea as the next part of this exciting record set, The Lloyd George Domesday Survey – a resource that can be used to find where an ancestor lived in 1910. Covering the areas of Brompton, Chelsea East, Chelsea West, Holland Park, Notting Hill East, Notting Hill West and South Kensington the newly added records contain 49,608 individuals who owned or occupied property in this upmarket part of London.

This unique online combination of detailed maps and residential data held by The National Archives is being digitised by TheGenealogist and can locate where your ancestor’s house had been on large scale (5 feet to the mile) hand annotated maps which show the outlines of property plots.

Beatrix Potter’s childhood home at 2 Bolton Gardens, Kensington

 

Details of the Potter’s lavish family home, including 6 bedrooms, 2 dressing rooms, 3 WCs and a servants hall

 

Previously, researchers would often not be able to find where ancestors lived for several reasons. Road names changed over time, the Blitz saw areas bombed to destruction, developers changed sites out of all resemblance from what had stood there before and lanes and roads were extinguished to build estates and office blocks. All this means that searching for where an ancestor lived using a website linked to modern maps can be frustrating when they fail to pinpoint where the old properties had once been.

  • TheGenealogist’s new release will link individual properties to extremely detailed ordnance survey maps used in 1910
  • Locate an address found in a census or street directory down to a specific house
  • Fully searchable by name, county, parish and street.
  • The maps will zoom down to show individual properties on roads as they existed in 1910

Complementing the maps on TheGenealogist are the accompanying field books that will also provide researchers with information relative to the valuation of each property, including the valuation assessment number, map reference, owner, occupier, situation, description and extent.

This huge project includes over 94,500 Field Books, each having hundreds of pages to digitise with associated large scale IR121 annotated OS maps, and is therefore ongoing.

The initial releases from TheGenealogist have begun in London and will continue to expand outwards across the country with cross linked maps wherever they are available.

Find out more at: TheGenealogist.co.uk/1910Survey/

Or read the feature article: Kensington and Chelsea Lloyd George Domesday Survey finds famous authors and actors

 

 

 

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The 1910 Valuation Office Survey of Brent, released online with annotated maps

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Latest news:

TheGenealogist is releasing the third part of its unique online record set, The Lloyd George Domesday Survey. This major resource based on records created for the Valuation Office survey can now be used to find where an ancestor lived in 1910 in the area around Brent. This useful combination of maps and residential data from The National Archives is being digitised by TheGenealogist to bring it online for the first time. These records precisely locate an ancestor’s house on a large scale and extraordinarily detailed hand annotated map so pinpointing the exact property.

An IR121 map shows Dollis Hill House in a rural Brent in 1910 and surrounded by suburban development in 1936

 

Family historians are often confused by modern maps when looking for where ancestors lived as the road names may have changed over time or been rerouted or extinguished. Wartime bombing saw areas razed to the ground. In the 1960s and onwards, developers changed areas of the country out of all resemblance from what our ancestors would have been used to. The passing of time means that searching for where an ancestor lived using websites linked to modern maps can be discouraging when they fail to identify where the old properties had once been. The area released today was still the location of farms and countryside at the time of the Lloyd George Domesday survey – but with the ever encroaching urbanisation of Brent the council moved to buy land to create a park for the future suburb of London.

 

 

  • TheGenealogist’s Lloyd George Domesday Survey provides links to individual properties on particularly detailed ordnance survey maps used in 1910

 

  • Linked to digitised pages from the original Field book often giving a detailed description of the property

 

  • Allows users to find an address discovered in a census or street directory down to a specific house on the map

 

  • Fully searchable by name, parish and street.

 

  • Maps will zoom down to show the individual properties as they existed in 1910

 

Image of an IR58 Field Book

 

Augmenting the street maps on TheGenealogist are images of the pages from the accompanying Field Books. These can give the researcher detailed information about the property, including the valuation assessment number, map reference, owner, occupier, situation, description and extent.

TheGenealogist’s digitisation of the Lloyd George Domesday Survey is a huge ongoing project with over 94,500 Field Books, each having hundreds of pages to scan with their associated large scale IR121 annotated OS maps. This latest release from TheGenealogist includes these detailed IR58 Field Books that contains a great deal of information about the properties that had been surveyed.

The release this month, covers Brent and joins Barnet, Edgware, Finchley, Friern Barnet, Hendon and Totteridge, plus the City of London and Paddington Index and maps that have previously been released by the company. More areas will be released soon for other London Boroughs and the county of Buckinghamshire.

 

Find out more at: TheGenealogist.co.uk/1910Survey/

 

You can also read my article about how the Lloyd George Domesday Survey reveals a rural idyll that disappeared into suburbia by clicking on the link here: thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles

 

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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5 favourite map resources for family history

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By William Westley (Source) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Plan of Birmingham By William Westley (Source) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I love looking at maps, when it comes to thinking about my ancestors and working out where they lived.

I know that I am not alone in this, but that other people just don’t seem to get it.

What is it that we, who find maps interesting, see in them?

For me it is seeing the layout of places compared to how they have developed today, for one.

I also love the ability to sometimes be able to work out why an ancestor lived where they did – perhaps it is the nearness of an industry, or some other place of work, that becomes blindingly obvious when you find that their street was a five minute walk from the factory or the dockyard where your rope-maker ancestor was employed.

I find it exciting to see how, in 1731, people who lived in Birmingham would have had a five minute walk from the centre of their town to see countryside. That there were fields on the other side of the road to St Philips’ Church (now the Cathedral) and there was no Victoria Square, Town hall or the Council House at the top of New Street and that Colmore Row was then called New Hill Lane!

detail from By William Westley (Source) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Birmingham 1731

 

Maps can be very useful for the researcher, looking into their family tree and so I have put together my personal list of the top five resources that I would recommend.

 

In reverse order…

Number 5: The Phillimore Atlas & Index of Parish Registers.   The maps in this book can help you identify contiguous parishes to your ancestors’ parish. Useful when you have a brick wall finding christenings, marriages and burials of your kin in their original parish, consider looking at the surrounding area and researching in the neighbouring parish records to see if you can find them.

The Phillimore Atlas & Index of Parish RegistersThe Phillimore Atlas & Index of Parish Registers

 

Number 4: The Interactive Bomb Map of London online at bombsight.org.

The Bomb Sight Project has scanned original 1940s bomb census maps, geo-referenced the maps and digitally captured the geographical locations of all the falling bombs recorded and made it available online. You can use their interactive map to explore and search for different bomb locations all over London. I have used it to find where an ancestor’s shop was on the street. As a post war building now stands on the site I wondered if it had been destroyed in the blitz. Using this application I was able to discover that it had indeed been destroyed by a German bomb.

You can click on individual bombs on the map and find out information relating to the neighbouring area by reviewing contextual images and also read memories from the Blitz.

www.bombsight.org consulted 19th July 2015 v 1.0www.bombsight.org

 

Number 3: FamilySearch’s maps at   http://maps.familysearch.org

When I am trying to find out which other Church of England parishes exist in an area, as an online alternative to the Phillimores (mentioned above), I often use the maps.familysearch.org resource. It can be useful if you want to discover which county a parish is in, which diocese it is part of, or which civil registration region it was in. You can also use the drop down menu to find its rural deanery, poor law union, hundred, C of E province (Canterbury or York) or division.

maps.familysearch.orgmaps.familysearch.org

 

Number 2: National Library of Scotland NLS Maps

This website gives you access to over 160,000 maps from all the countries of the United Kingdom and not just Scotland! With maps dating from between 1560 and 1964 this is one of my ‘go to’ websites when I want to see a map of a place that my ancestors lived. I often turn to a map over laid on a modern map or satellite view or chose to view an old map side by side with a modern version.

http://www.nls.uk/http://maps.nls.uk/

 

Number 1: National Tithe Maps online via TheGenealogist.co.uk

My top map resource is that of the collection of surviving tithe maps that have been digitised by TheGenealogist for the ability to often find ancestors actual plots of land and houses from the time of the tithe survey (1837 to the mid 1850s and sometimes later when an altered apportionment map was drawn up). While the accompanying Tithe Apportionment books detail the land that they either owned or occupied, these records can be so revealing as to where our forbears lived and whether they had some land to grow produce or keep animals. All levels of society are included and surprisingly some streets in major cities were included. The collection covers approximately 75% of England & Wales – as a minority of land was not subject to tithes by this time.

Tithe map of Ealing MiddlesexTheGenealogist.co.uk

 


Disclosure – I do have a business relationship with TheGenealogist as I write articles on using their records and resources that can be found in family history magazines such as Discover Your Ancestors, Your Family History and Family Tree for which I receive remuneration. Not withstanding this fact I stand by my selection of the tithe maps as my personal number one map resource for the ability to use them to discover the plot where an ancestor lived and what they may have grown there.

In addition some, but not all, of the links in this post are compensated affiliate links.

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Family History: Last Will & Testaments

 

Death of NelsonFinding Ancestor’s Wills

Wills are a valuable source of genealogical information for researching our ancestor’s family history. They can give us details of family members, places of residence and burial, as well as revealing details about possessions. Many researchers new to family history are surprised to find that all levels of society left wills and not just the wealthy.

That having been said, however, as this week has seen the 210th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, on the 21st October 1805, I am going to take as my example the will of the great architect of that victory: Admiral Lord Nelson. Viscount Nelson, as most of us are aware from our history lessons, lost his life on that day on board his flag ship, HMS Victory.

 

I have accessed the Prerogative Court of Canterbury wills on TheGenealogist website and by using the Master Search I entered the Forename: Horatio, and Surname of Nelson and then selected Wills from the drop-down menu.

With one click we can see below an image of the original will written, on the 10th May 1803.

Admiral Nelson's will

Who got what?

The last Will and Testament can reveal what an ancestor considered important to them by what they distribute to their family and friends. We can often discover the charities that they may have supported and perhaps, as in Nelson’s case, other people that they cared enough about to have specifically mentioned in the document.

Nelson, we can read, left the poor of three parishes a charitable donation. As for whom he considered important, his mistress, Lady Hamilton, is first in line with the gift of his Diamond Star and a silver cup. Next to receive a  bequest was his brother, the Rev. William Nelson D.D., who got the gold box that had been presented by the City of London to the Admiral. The Reverend Nelson was also left the gold sword that had been presented by the Captains who had fought alongside Nelson at the Battle of the Nile. His two sisters are left a sword and a silver cup each and to his “worthy friend Captain Hardy”, Nelson left his telescopes, sea glasses and £100.

Last Wishes Betrayed

Codicils can reveal changes of mind by our ancestors, or simply an update of their last wishes. In Nelson’s case he was aware that he was going into battle and may not survive the day when he wrote a final codicil “in sight of the combined fleets of France and Spain” poignantly he was correct in that assumption.

A click on the record on TheGenealogist and, with a bit of practice to decipher the handwriting, we can make out the words of praise that he heaps on Lady Hamilton for the help she has given to her country. It would seem that the Admiral believed she had been overlooked for a reward for her diplomacy on behalf of Britain.

 

Nelson's codicil

Nelson appeals to the King and Country that, should he die “ample provision to maintain her rank in life” should be given to his mistress. It would seem providing for Lady Emma Hamilton and, by inference, his illegitimate daughter Horatia lay heavy with Nelson as he saw the enemy fleets on the horizon.

On that very afternoon the Admiral was fatally wounded by a single musket ball and died.

HMS Victory and the spot where Neslon Fell

Despite his last wishes, the government awarded various moneys to Nelson’s family instead and ignored Lady Hamilton and Horatia. Emma ended up in the King’s Bench Debtors Prison, along with her daughter, before running away from her creditors and going to live in Calais. When Lady Hamilton died in 1815, aged 49, Horatia went to live with one of Nelson’s sisters and eventually she married a clergyman to live quietly with a large family of ten children as a vicar’s wife back in England.

 

To search for your ancestor’s wills and countless other useful records take a look at TheGenealogist now.

The Genealogist - UK census, BMDs and more online

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Who Do You Think You Are? Paul Hollywood

Paul_Hollywood
Paul_Hollywood

Did you watch the Paul Hollywood programme in the 12th series of Who Do You Think You Are?

I thought it was a great show to start the new series off. Paul came across as a genuine normal guy who like many of us wished he had taken the time to speak more to his relatives about the past before they sadly died.

Even though one of the main lessons in my Family History course is to talk to your relatives and jot down what they tell you, as a basis for then trying to substantiate their stories with research in actual records, I too am guilty of not having done this before it was too late with some of my own family.

 

In this week’s TV show Paul Hollywood, from The Great British Bake Off, was taken back to his grandfather’s WWII experience in North Africa. It was here that his grandfather Norman Harman (1913 – 2003) had been sent as soon as he had completed his training. At Medjez el Bab in Tunisia, Norman’s Light Anti-Aircraft division were protecting the infantry from enemy air attacks at the time of the major Allied offensive to take Tunis from the German forces. With the enemy throwing bombs and missiles at them it was hard on these men.

From there Paul travelled to Italy, where he learnt about how his grandfather was part of the landing force that became trapped on the beaches at Anzio for four months, surrounded by Germans and all the while under constant aerial bombardment. Paul gets to see the landing area where his grandfather and the other men would have felt like sitting ducks, with death and devastation all around them. Norman and his comrades finally managed to land and their gun was then transported five miles inland. Unfortunately for them the regiment was soon surrounded by the enemy in a dangerously exposed area. Huge numbers of men had no choice but to dig themselves into 7ft long fox holes and spend months trapped, coming under repeated German shell attacks.

In May 1944 and thanks to Norman’s regiment’s extraordinary efforts, the stalemate at Anzio was broken. The next month the Allied armies went on to liberate Rome, but not without the loss of 14,000 lives. Paul’s grandfather brought back from this conflict a visible memento of his terrifying time. He had developed a facial tic that stayed with him until he died.

Researching his line even further back, Paul Hollywood was seen in the Who Do You Think You Are? programme to use TheGenealogist’s ‘family forename search’ to find Alexander McKenzie, a Wood Turner who had come down to Liverpool from his native Glasgow. I was very glad to see that this company’s excellent resource was used by Paul, in place of one of the other two subscription sites who normally always get a look in.

Following his Scottish family line up to Glasgow Paul then found that the next generation in the McKenzie family was a Glasgow Policeman, down from the Highlands, who had a certain amount of trouble avoiding alcohol and was eventually dismissed from the Police force, moved to Liverpool before returning to Glasgow and death in the Poorhouse.

Paul then discovered in the programme that his great, great, great, great grandfather Donald McKenzie, was a Highland postman with quite extraordinary stamina. As a crofter with little land he had to make ends meet with other employment. Donald’s was a post runner. Not having a horse, with which to cover his rounds delivering the mail to 30,000 people, Donald simply ran the 120 miles with the mail every week from one side of Scotland to the other.

 

 

With thanks to TheGenealogist for permission to use part of their article as a basis for this post. You can read the full piece, that reveals even more about Paul Hollywood’s family history, by clicking this link:

http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/affiliate/?affid=ptergx&page=808

The Genealogist - UK census, BMDs and more online

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TheGenealogist releases online 60,000 railway worker records.

 

I’ve been playing with a new set of occupational records this week after I received the following Press Release from the team over at TheGenealogist website. Many of the entries are fascinating for those researchers that have railway staff ancestors. Here is what TheGenealogist has to say…

TheGenealogist releases 60,000 railway worker records.

  • More than 60,000 railway workers have been added to the Occupational Records on TheGenealogist

  • Find details of railway ancestors, where they were employed and what they did

  • Trace your railway worker ancestor’s careers through their promotions

  • Discover when they retired

  • Read obituaries

The Genealogist has added over 60,000 rail workers to its online indexes of Railway Employment Records. Taken from Railway Company Staff magazines these records are useful to family historians with railway employee ancestors, wanting to find important occupation related dates and add some social history to their family tree. These records include such details as staff changes, promotions, pension records, retirements and obituaries. Often additional personal information is revealed in the magazines. In some cases you can read about gifts from co-workers given when rail staff leave.

Search TheGenealogist for Railway WorkersFor example, we can discover that Mr A.N.Train had been a Station Master at Whitdale and Sigglesthorne, stations that today are converted into private houses sitting as they do on lines closed under Beeching’s cuts in the 1960s. The railwayman’s details have been extracted from his obituary in the British Railways Magazine of November 1949 Vol 2 No 11. We can learn such useful details as his retirement date, as well as the date that Mr Train passed away at the age of 79.

One click takes us to an image of the original page on which the record is based.

Railway Staff Magazines on TheGenealogist

There is also a great article on their website where you can also do a search for your railway ancestors:

http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2015/off-the-rails-242/

The Genealogist - UK census, BMDs and more online

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The Tithe Maps reveal an alcoholic corner of London

Tithe map of Ealing Middlesex
Tithe Map of part of Ealing. Click to enlarge.

Following on from my piece, earlier in the week, when I posted the Press Release issued by TheGenealogist, I’ve now had time to play a bit with the tithe apportionment records and accompanying maps to see what I could find.

In the parish of Ealing, in Middlesex, I came across the land owned by Sir Felix Booth, a wealthy Gin distiller in Old Brentwood High Street. His family had, you may realize from the name, been the founders of Booths Gin back in 1740. Its a brand that is still being marketed to this day. Sir Felix was pretty wealthy; indeed he had enough money to have financed John Ross’ expedition to find the Northwest Passage through the Arctic Ocean.

Booth’s distillery was in this part of London, next to the Thames. From the tithe apportionment document, accessed on TheGenealogist website, we can see that Sir Felix owned and occupied quite a bit of the land in Brentwood,  including plot 230 that accounted for his distillery. There was also a house which may have been occupied by one of the family, a John Booth. If we turn to the census collection, also on TheGenealogist, John Booth is listed as being 35 and of Independent means in the 1841 census of Old Brentwood High Street.

To my amusement I found that the Booth’s distillery, was cheek by jowl with a brewery and a large number of pubs and hotels meaning that there were many places to get a tipple in this neighbourhood. A feature of this particular map was that the surveyor had chosen to write some of the names of the pubs on the plan so that we can see that within a few yards were The Barge Aground, The Bull, The Running Horse, The Half Moon and Seven Stars, The Royal Hotel, The Drum, The Red Lion and also The King George!

A bit further west, on the High Street, was the Lock Up House and I have to wonder at how many ended up there after a pub crawl down this particular 1840 London street?

 

Part of a tithe map of Old Brentford, Ealing.
Part of a tithe map of Old Brentford, Ealing. Click to enlarge.

To view the Tithe maps for Middlesex, Surrey, Buckinghamshire and Leicestershire go to TheGenealogist.co.uk

The Genealogist - UK census, BMDs and more online

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Fantastic Addition Of Maps to Tithe Records

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This Press Release has come from the team at TheGenealogist.

Like so many, I love maps so this is really exciting news!

Detailed Town and Parish Maps go online for the first time

Small Map of Tinwell final

TheGenealogist has added maps to its comprehensive National Tithe Records collection.

All aspects of society were captured by this survey

Identify the land your ancestors owned or occupied in the 19th century

Get an idea of their working lives by the usage made of the plots by your forebears.

Fully linked tithe maps for Middlesex, Surrey, Buckinghamshire and Leicestershire with other counties to follow shortly

Geographically placing where your ancestors worked and lived

In partnership with TNA, TheGenealogist is making it possible to search over 11,000,000 records from across England and Wales and to view theses valuable original apportionment documents with linked maps on one website.

It’s always been a challenge to find where our ancestors lived, but now these records can help you explore the fields and houses in their home villages and towns. Never before have family historians been able search nationwide for these ancestral maps. We plan to have complete coverage in the next few months.

Tithe maps allow you to pinpoint your ancestors from our records. They show the boundaries of fields, woods, roads, rivers and the location and shape of buildings. The detail recorded within the maps and apportionment records will show you how much land they owned or occupied, where exactly in the parish it was, what the land was used for and how much tithe rent there was to pay.

The Tithe Commissioners maps are now housed in The National Archives (TNA). Due to their age and the materials used the original maps are often too fragile to handle. These were microfilmed in 1982 and some of the maps have deteriorated over the last 30 years. The first stage of the project is the release of these as online images.

Sir Robert Peel tithe map

There are over 12,000 main maps plus thousands of update maps as the boundaries of fields changed over time.

The second stage will be the delicate conservation and digitisation of the original colour maps.

“Tithe records are a rich resource for family historians as they cover owners and occupiers of land from all strata of early Victorian society.

These maps can be three to four meters in length by several meters in width and have gone through a multiple levels of digitisation and processing so that the huge maps can load instantly, even on a mobile phone.This fantastic resource was created in the period from 1837 to the early 1850s as a result of one of the largest surveys into the usage, ownership and occupation of land in England and Wales since the Domesday book.”

Mark Bayley – Head of Online Content at TheGenealogist

Diamond subscribers to TheGenealogist are able to view apportionment records for all of England & Wales, with the accompanying maps now being live for Middlesex, Surrey, Buckinghamshire and Leicestershire. The maps for the rest of England and Wales will follow over the coming months.

See their page TheGenealogist.co.uk/Tithe to freely search the records and learn more about them.

The Genealogist - UK census, BMDs and more online

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New WW1 Records Released

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New avenues of research are opened up by the latest release of unique Great War records.

During the First World War many servicemen were reported as ‘Missing’ or ‘Killed in Action’ and for the first time you can now search a comprehensive list of these online. Usefully this includes the changing status of soldiers as the facts became clearer over time, as many assumed dead were found alive and those reported missing had their status updated.

This new release from TheGenealogist contains over 800,000 records. Included are 575,000 Killed in Action records, over 226,000 unique Missing-in-Action records and 14,000 Status Updates.

Over 100,000 people previously reported as missing had further status updates:
59,500 were later reported as killed
47,400 were later reported as PoW
2,000 were later reported as rejoined
4,200 were later reported as “not missing”
8,400 were later reported as wounded
Mark Bayley, Head of Online Content at TheGenealogist comments:

“The telegrams and published lists of Dead and Missing must have had a huge impact on the lives of our ancestors. These records give an insight into what must have been an emotional roller coaster. They also give new avenues of research into what some researchers may have assumed were dead ends.”

These are now available to Diamond subscribers of TheGenealogist.

Example 1 Thought to be dead
Some people initially reported to be dead may turn out to be alive, the change in status is usually reported in the War Lists. If it had been assumed that an ancestor was dead, from the initial report, it could reopen a closed off branch of a family tree for further research.

An example of this type of positive record status change is Flight Sub Lieutenant Trechmann who was first reported as “Died As A Prisoner” in the Daily Lists of 6th June 1917.

Example on TheGenealogist.co.uk of soldier previously reported Died as a Prisoner

By the end of July 1917 his status changed to Previously Reported Died As A Prisoner, Now Reported Alive and Still a Prisoner.
Finally, in December 1918, his records show that he was Repatriated.

PoW camp from TheGenealogist image archive
Example 2 Thought to be wounded
5th Earl of LongfordA different illustration, on many levels, is that of the 5th Earl of Longford. Within the Daily Casualty List on TheGenealogist for the 6th September 1915, we can find Lord Longford who had previously been reported as “Wounded”.

WWI Soldiers: Earl of Longford reported as wounded

His status was then changed to be “Now Reported Wounded and Missing” and this alteration appeared in the daily list of the 27th September 1915:

Earl Longford now Missing in Action

During the First World War, Brigadier-General Lord Longford was in command of a division sent from their base in Egypt to Suvla on the Gallipoli peninsula as reinforcements during the Battle of Sari Bair.

The initial attack by other Divisions on Scimitar Hill had failed. With his men waiting in reserve, the 5th Earl and his troops were then ordered to advance in the open across a dry salt lake. Under fire, most of the brigades had taken shelter, but Lord Longford led his men in a charge to capture the summit of Scimitar Hill. Unfortunately, during the advance, he was killed.

Earl Longford’s body was never recovered and so, in the confusion of war, he was first recorded as “Wounded”, and then “Wounded and Missing”. Eventually, in 1916, he would be assumed to be dead.

Posterity tells us that the peer’s last words were recorded as: “Don’t bother ducking, the men don’t like it and it doesn’t do any good”.

To read more about these records and to read a featured article on TheGenalogist see this article: Was your ancestor killed or missing in action?

‘First World War Collection’ visit www.TheGenealogist.co.uk

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