Genealogy SIG Newsletter: March 2013

First of all, thanks to all who replied to my last message concerning the way forward for the group. I am sorting through the replies, some of which came to me personally, and will give you an update on new ideas shortly.

The idea of a monthly newsletter seems to be something that might go down well, so here’s the first with a few links which may be useful to you! Clicking on the blue text will take you to the websites mentioned.

What’s new on Ancestry

The parish record collection for Lancashire has been updated, records cover baptisms, marriages and burials from 1538-1986.
A word of warning - be very careful when using the above link to search. Because it is searching the whole database of Lancashire parish records, it is very easy to put in too much information and get back a “nil return”. In my opinion you are far better off scrolling down to the bottom of the page and selecting each database on an individual basis - you will see the 5 datasets which are available, listed below the search boxes.

Manchester Archives have also teamed up with Ancestry to publish their parish records – 8 datasets included which cover baptisms, marriages and burials from 1573-1985, including Manchester Cathedral registers. Again, I would advise you search each database separately rather than using the master search form which searches all 8 datasets at the same time!

These parish record collections are so valuable if they apply to the area you are researching, and provide one of the few opportunities of finding marriage certificates online.
Just as a reminder, although they have been there for a while, similar datasets for other counties.
- Dorset
- Liverpool
- London
- Warwickshire
- West Yorkshire

UK, Civil Divorce Records, 1858-1911
This database contains records from civil divorce proceedings. They will show who filed the petition and who the respondent was. They may also provide a short history of the marriage, the grounds for the divorce petition with some details (such as names, times, and places associated with adultery or desertion), terms of judgment, and other details. They can be both informative and very personal! For those of us who have visited the National Archives for these records, and sifted through dusty brown boxes, these records online are very welcome!

What’s new on Findmypast

Like Ancestry, Findmypast have also been adding parish register collections to their site.
Recent additions include an update to the Westminster Collection which covers 50 Westminster churches for the period 1538-1945. A list of parishes covered is available in a pdf file.

Crime & Punishment records
Recent addition of over half a million historical records of criminals and their victims covering the period 1817-1931, with the promise of more to come. If you are lucky you may even stumble on a photo of your errant ancestor!

FamilySearch – have you looked at it recently?

A website that many of us used when there was little else available on the internet. For those new to the website, it is a non-profit service sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For over 100 years the Church has been actively gathering and preserving genealogical records worldwide – and their online content is growing day by day.
If you haven’t looked at it recently, then you may be surprised at what is now available.
- Click here to go to the website.
- Scroll down to below the search boxes and click on “Browse all Published Collections”
- In the left hand column you can select Place/Date range/Collection type
- Just as an example, select “United Kingdom and Ireland” – you then see a list of all the databases which are available, covering topics such as parish registers, school registers, workhouse records, probate records, census transcriptions – over 101 different datasets for the UK alone.
Well worth looking at!

Something new from FamilySearch is their photocopying service – and it’s FREE!
You may find an entry on FamilySearch but need to look at the original image to see if more information is available. Unless you live near a Family History Centre and are able to order the films for viewing, then there is very little you can do – until now.
You can now submit a request via email for a photocopy of the original record - this will be sent to you in digital format (by email). Full details are on the link given above, but make sure you provide all the information that is required or your request may be rejected.
This is a relatively new service and at the moment it is taking about 4 weeks for requests to be answered, so be patient!

Deceased Online

Another site to keep an eye on!
Deceased Online aims to provide a central database for UK burials and cremations. Local authorities are being encouraged to convert their register records, maps and photographs into digital form so they can be included into a central searchable collection.
Searching is free, but credits need to be purchased if you find anything of interest.
Database coverage - click here

It's always worth registering on sites such as these so as to receive regular newsletters and/or updates when new collections are added. It might just be the one you are waiting for!

.. and finally

A couple of gems for Irish researchers
Military Archives Irish Army Census 1922 – census return for any person serving in the National Army in November 1922.

To coincide with St. Patrick's Day, RootsIreland are giving away 100 free search credits. (It normally costs 1 credit to view a single page of search results.) If you are already registered on the site then the credits appear automatically on your account. If you haven't previously registered then they will appear when you do! They can only be used for searching, if you want to view a record you will have to purchase monetary credits.

I hope that you find some of these links interesting and helpful.
Until next time.

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