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Archive for June, 2009

The 1911 census is now complete

Tuesday, 23rd June, 2009

The final batch of records has now been added to the 1911 census, and includes the Channel Islands of Alderney, Guernsey, Jersey and Sark, and the Isle of Man.

They’ve also added records for around 135,000 soldiers based at 288 military establishments overseas, and around 36,000 naval personnel on 147 Royal Navy Ships overseas.

In 1911 the British Empire was nearing its peak and you can find soldiers and sailors located across the globe at remote outposts of the empire, as well as in other countries, such as Egypt, where Britain had a political and military presence but which were never formally part of the empire.

You will be able to search for army personnel who were stationed overseas, plus family members who went with them, as well as soldiers who were absent on the night of the census, and navy personnel who were onboard ship.

One million new Poor Law records

Tuesday, 23rd June, 2009

More than a million additional records covering the period from 1834-1940 have now been added to the Ancestry UK.  These records were created by the boards of guardians responsible for the care of the poor in their respective Poor Law Unions.

The poorest in society had recourse to some form of relief since Elizabethan times by virtue of the Poor Law. Poor law relief generally applied to the poorest and most vulnerable individuals such as the elderly, orphaned, unemployed, or the sick and afflicted. These individuals were eligible to receive help such as monetary relief and other daily necessities like food, clothing, and work – usually administered via the dreaded workhouses. Children could be appointed to apprenticeships or placed in schools and other institutions. The records also include registers of creed, school, apprentices, servants, children, and inmates among others.

BBC1 asks again Who Do You Think You Are?

Friday, 19th June, 2009

Sex and the City star Kim Cattrall, Big Brother presenter Davina McCall and Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles are to all feature in the new run of BBC1’s genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are?

The show, produced by Wall to Wall, will return in the summer for another 6 x 60-minute run which will also see Peep Show comedian David Mitchell, wildlife presenter Kate Humble and The Office star Martin Freeman all research their ancestry.

Read more here

19th century British Library Newspapers Online

Thursday, 18th June, 2009

The following announcement was written by the British Library:

June 17, 2009 — Available for the first time at, The British Library, in partnership with JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) and Gale, part of Cengage Learning, has today launched the public version of its 19th century British Library Newspaper website.

Bathing machines, children as young as nine smoking and drinking, Vesta Tilley – London’s very own Pop Idol, the banking collapse of 1878 and zero percent income tax are just a few of the fascinating items researchers can now look at online.

For the first time ever, users regardless of their location will be able to explore over two million pages of newspaper from 49 national and regional UK titles at the click of a button. With enhanced search capabilities and new imaging techniques, serious and amateur researchers now have access to vivid newspaper reports previously only available via hard copy in Reading Rooms.

Chosen by leading experts and academics to present a cross section of 19th century society, the website offers its users highly illustrated materials on topics as diverse as business and sport, politics and entertainment. The collection focuses on national newspapers such as the Daily News, English regional papers, for example the Manchester Times, home country newspapers from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, weekly titles such as Penny Illustrated Paper and Graphic and specialist titles such that covered Victorian radicalism and Chartism such as Charter.

Users are now able to read first-hand factual reporting of the Battle of Trafalgar in the Examiner and the gory details of the Whitechapel murders in the melodramatic Illustrated Police News. Alternatively, researchers can access reports directly at their desktops on the first FA Cup final between Wanderers and Royal Engineers at the Kenington Oval in 1872 or the first England-Australia Test match in 1877. Some of the most famous authors of the 19th century are also represented, including Dickens and Thackeray.

Searches of the site are free and downloads of full-text articles are available by purchasing either a 24-hour or seven-day pass. Users can buy a 24-hour pass (up to 100 downloads) for £6.99 or a seven-day pass (up to 200 downloads) for £9.99. Access to The Graphic and The Penny Illustrated Paper is free.

Simon Bell, the British Library’s Head of Product Development, said: “There’s a huge appetite for wider online access to this kind of resource, which is already well-used by Readers at the British Library and by people in Higher and Further Education. The new pay-as-you-go service will enable users across the UK who don’t wish to travel to our Reading Rooms in London or Yorkshire to delve into this unrivalled online resource.”

Simon Fowler, Editor, Ancestors Magazine, said: “This new service really does open up a major new resource for family historians. Realistically for the first time it is possible to use newspapers to complement other records to build up a rounder portrait of our ancestors, with information that would not be possible to obtain elsewhere.”

Alastair Dunning, Digitisation Programme Manager at JISC added: “This is one of many JISC-funded projects which will open up valuable slices of history to new audiences using online channels. The British Library site means genealogists, academics and the public alike now have easy access to a realm of fascinating information – which is core to our ethos of backing innovative uses of technology.”

Jim Draper, Vice President and Publisher at Gale said, “This service fulfills a vision of making these fascinating historical records available to the widest possible audience. Now researchers the world over – historians, genealogists, and the merely curious – can discover the nineteenth century in exciting new ways.”

You can also watch a video about the new service at

Irish Family History Research

Wednesday, 17th June, 2009

With hundreds of rare and, in most cases, exclusive searchable databases, as well as other essential Irish genealogy resources covering every Irish county, this site is one of the most useful websites for Irish Family History Research.

All Irish genealogical materials available on this site are extremely rare and are exclusive to Irish Family – some are free, others require a registration fee. The availability of the exclusive Memorials of the Dead database has proved a tremendous success apparently.

In the last five years, many thousands of people have visited this site to successfully locate information about their Irish Ancestors, so if you have hit a brick wall in your Irish family research, you might find their support team helpful as they offer free advice to members.


Monday, 15th June, 2009

GEDitCOM II is a new genealogy application for MacOS X that sets the standard for Macintosh ease-of-use editing of genealogy files, for customization of the user experience, and for power features allowing the greatest access to your genealogical data. GEDitCOM II is a complete rewrite of the former GEDitCOM application.

GEDitCOM II is a rewritten version of GEDitCOM using Apple’s Cocoa environment. It will greatly exceed user-interface features of GEDitCOM. It will retain the philosophy of GEDitCOM to be a customizable genealogy application for editing and viewing GEDCOM genealogy files. Users of GEDitCOM, should find GEDitCOM II easy to use.

For a full list of features and to download a trial version, visit

All Welsh counties now available in 1911 census

Friday, 12th June, 2009

All 13 Welsh counties are now available on

  • Anglesey
  • Brecknockshire
  • Carnarvonshire
  • Cardiganshire
  • Carmarthenshire
  • Denbighshire
  • Flintshire
  • Glamorgan
  • Merionethshire
  • Montgomeryshire
  • Monmouthshire
  • Pembrokeshire
  • Radnorshire

These records contain a total of over 2.4 million individuals, and over a million households.

Search for your Welsh ancestors on the 1911 census now

Two languages

As the 1911 census is the first where household schedules were preserved, you will find that some of the census returns are printed and completed entirely in Welsh, while some are written in a mixture of Welsh and English. To help those who are not native Welsh speakers, there is a site section of useful tips, and translation tables to help you translate the most common Welsh census terms into English.

Common surnames and occupations

The tips will also help you narrow down your search results if you happen to have an ancestor with one of the most frequently occuring names, such as Jones or Evans, or one who worked in one of the dominant industries such as farming or coal mining.

Good luck with your Welsh research.

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