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Posts Tagged ‘Genealogy’

Price changes for ordering BMD certificates

Thursday, 4th March, 2010

New charges for people ordering birth, marriage and death certificates have been announced by Registrar General James Hall.

From Tuesday 6  April 2010 the eight separate fees currently charged by the General Register Office (GRO) for ordering a certificate will be reduced to two – one for standard orders and one for the priority service.

The changes – the first for the GRO since 2003 – will ensure that the costs of providing the service are recovered from fees and not subsidised by the taxpayer.

Mr Hall said:

“The General Register Office receives more than two million certificate orders every year, the vast majority of which, over 90 per cent, are ordered online.

“This is our first change to fees since 2003 and we believe that the new fee structure will be simpler to use for our customers.

GRO certificate services are self-financing and costs must be recovered to ensure taxpayers do not subsidise them. This is a responsibility we take extremely seriously.

“We will continue to play our part in keeping costs as low as possible  by bringing in technological efficiencies and improvements.”

The cost of ordering certificates online with a GRO reference number, using the standard service, will rise from £7.00 to £9.25. A number of other charges, however, will fall to this new standard fee, including those for certificates where customers do not know the reference number.

Three of the four priority overnight service charges will also fall to a flat fee of £23.40.

The Registrar General has also announced new fees to be charged by the Local Registration Service throughout England and Wales for issuing copies of certificates, and officiating at weddings and civil partnerships for those who are housebound or detained.

The charge for registering marriages at registered buildings – those buildings that are registered for the solemnization of religious marriages other than Anglican churches – has also been changed.

These new fees, which also come into effect on 6 April, reflect the actual cost of providing the services and follows a review undertaken by local authorities together with the GRO.

For more information on GRO services and to order certificates online go to

New transcription of 1901 census

Wednesday, 12th August, 2009

A brand new transcription of the 1901 census, complete with newly scanned high-quality images, is available on They’ve just added the final 24 counties and other UK territories – which comprise over 5.6 million new records – so you can now search the census in full.

Search the complete 1901 census for England and Wales now

Although the 1901 census has been available for some time, they’re confident our new transcription is the most accurate online and will reveal many individuals whose names have been wrongly transcribed by other websites. And to make sure that they meet their commitment to providing you with the best quality images, all of the documents have been re-scanned.

If you’re unable to find your family on other versions of the 1901 census, then it’s well worth trying on

The completion of the 1901 census brings a step closer to a full set of 1841-1901 England and Wales censuses. The 1851 census – the only remaining incomplete census – will be available in full within the next few months, and a full set of high-quality 1881 census images will be added to the transcriptions already available.

Free Public Access to More Than One Billion Family History Records

Tuesday, 11th August, 2009

The following announcement was written by Opens Site Allowing for Free Public Access to More Than One Billion Family History Records

With the addition of the largest number of records to be released in a single day since the site launched in 2006

PROVO, UT, August 11, 2009 –, an online family history resource, today announced the addition of the largest number of records to be released in a single day since the site launched in 2006. To commemorate this milestone, for the first time WorldVitalRecords is offering free public access to its entire online collection of historical and genealogical records beginning August 11 and continuing through August 13, 2009. The public will have unlimited access to more than one billion records in over 11,000 databases from around the world including newspapers, census, birth, marriage, death, immigration and military records; family trees; stories and publications; and yearbooks.

“As a genealogy enthusiast, I’m thrilled that people can go to one place like, try family history research for free and find their parents or grandparents, and see how simple it is to start tracing back and discovering stories that bring family history to life,” said Jim Ericson, Vice-President of Marketing for Family Link. “This is a rare opportunity to delve into the records and discover information about your family and ancestors you may have never known.”

Featured records in this release include:

Historical Newspapers
Through a partnership with Newspaper Archive, WorldVitalRecords is adding access to pages from a variety of newspapers from all over the United States, dating from 1759 through 1923. This collection features images of entire newspapers from the western frontier, the Midwest at the turn of the century, and the long-time standard of our nation’s news, “The New York Times” which includes over 7 million names. Newspaper Archive produces the largest historical newspaper database online, and the collection is fully searchable by keyword and date, and individual pages can be saved or printed.
According to Gena Philibert Ortega, Genealogy Community Director for FamilyLink, “Part of the fun of family history is uncovering details about our ancestors’ daily lives — the events of the day, the goods and the services they bought. Newspapers allow us to better understand our ancestors.”

Immigration Records
Living in a country of immigrants, ship passenger lists and other records documenting immigration can be an essential part in learning more about your family history. It is a thrilling experience to see their names transcribed on paper the day they entered this country through the Port of New York. Browsing and searching these passenger lists is a perfect way for someone to start researching their family history. This record collection provides documentation of over 150,000 passengers who arrived on nearly 8,000 ships at one of the busiest ports in the United States, New York, from 1820-1832.

In partnership with the website, WorldVitalRecords is doubling its collection of digitized yearbooks. This collection features university yearbooks from the late 1800 to mid 1950s. houses the largest collection of old college yearbooks on the Internet. Universities featured this week include Duke University, University of Oklahoma, Iowa State and the College of William and Mary.

Vital Records, Military Records and Tax Lists
Other records being released on the site include birth, marriage, tax lists, military records, and death records from Maine, North Carolina, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Focused on helping users discover and share their family history, WorldVitalRecords adds new records to their online collection everyday.

About is simplifying family history research by providing many easy-to-use tools and resources to discover and connect with others interested in family history. WorldVitalRecords provides access to more than one billion international and U.S. records provides affordable access to genealogy databases and family history tools used by more than 258,000 monthly visitors. The site registers 3.6 million monthly pages views and serves tens of thousands of paying subscribers. With thousands of databases, including birth, death, military, census, and parish records, makes it easy to fill in missing information in your family tree.

WorldVitalRecords is part of the, Inc. network of family-focused interactive properties including, GenealogyWise, WebTree, WorldHistory, and the We’re Related and My Family applications on Facebook.

Burke’s Peerage to Include Illegitimate Children

Thursday, 2nd July, 2009

Burke’s Peerage and Gentry is finally succumbing to the demands of the 21st century.

The guide, which lists the genealogy of every royal and aristocratic family in the Europe and the U.S., is to include illegitimate children for the first time.

As part of a major shake-up, the book will also list offspring in order of when they are born, rather than males first, which has been tradition.

Over the next few months the records of one million upper class families will be carefully updated to bring them in line with the modern format.

You can read more in the Daily Mail Online at

FamViewer Version 2.0, Genealogy Software for iPhone and iPod Touch

Thursday, 2nd July, 2009

The following announcement was written by Aster Software:

Aster Software Releases FamViewer Version 2.0, Genealogy Software for iPhone and iPod Touch

LEXINGTON, KY, June 29, 2009 — Aster Software has announced the release of version 2.0 of its genealogy application, FamViewer. FamViewer allows genealogists to carry their genealogy databases with them on their iPhone and iPod Touch.

FamViewer imports standard GEDCOM files and displays them on the iPhone. GEDCOM files can be uploaded to FamViewer with a web browser on a desktop computer or downloaded to FamViewer from any web site or web server via WiFi. FamViewer will import the GEDCOM file and display its contents. Once a GEDCOM file is downloaded and imported you can view individuals, families, notes and sources. Navigate the family tree with a touch. You can carry your genealogy database with you wherever you bring your iPhone or iPod Touch.

New in version 2.0 is an ancestry chart that displays up to eight generations for anyone in the database. Tap on the name of anyone displayed in the chart and go to their family page.

An index by surname allows the user to find anyone in the database. A family view, resembling a family group sheet, displays three generations of a family: parents, children, and grandparents. Touch the parent’s names to view the details of their life events and personal attributes. Each event and attribute can have sources and notes, which are visible in another view.

All the FamViewer views work in portrait or landscape orientation so long names, places, dates or other data can be easily viewed.

FamViewer isn’t tied to any desktop genealogy software. Active genealogy researchers already own genealogy software that they run on their desktop, or laptop, computers. All modern genealogy software can export their genealogy databases in GEDCOM format. FamViewer will import GEDCOM files exported by today’s popular genealogy applications.

User comments about FamViewer from online reviews:

“A perfect solution. This genealogy app is exactly what I’ve been waiting for.”

“Great App!”

“Great iPhone App. This is a great portable application that I have long awaited for my iPhone. I use Family Tree Maker and have successfully imported 80,000+ names. The customer support and responsiveness is awesome!”

“Love it, and with the latest update, you can see the actual pedigree chart, it’s great.”

“Outstanding software. Outstanding value. It was great having my entire TMG database (all 2700 people and nearly 2000 sources) with me on the last two business trips to Washington DC (the Archives and the DAR Library) and all on the iphone.”

Version 2.0 improvements:

  • Added family tree view that allows viewing eight generations of a family tree.
  • Added support to display long notes.
  • Added ability to connect to FamViewer using Bonjour.
  • Improvements to the networking code should provide better reliability on certain networks.
  • Implement choosing the home family.
  • Added progress bar that shows progress of importing a GEDCOM file.
  • Plays a sound when the GEDCOM import is complete.
  • Changed placeholder text on the family page view from ‘Grandfather’/’Grandmother’ to ‘None’ due to user feedback.

FamViewer can be purchased at the Apple appstore and is priced at US$14.99. To find out more about FamViewer visit the appstore with iTunes. FamViewer is listed under Productivity Applications and Genealogy. More information is also available at View an overview movie showing FamViewer’s main features at

About Aster Software.

Aster Software is a small company specializing in products for iPhone, iPod Touch, and Macintosh. The company website is

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

1911 Census for England now complete

Thursday, 9th April, 2009

The complete counties of Northumberland, Cumberland and Westmorland, which comprise 443,204 new records, are now live on In addition, the Gateshead data, which comprises 84,195 new records, has now been added to Durham. This means that the whole of England is now online and searchable.

The Welsh counties will be added soon.

Genealogy Courses

Monday, 30th March, 2009
The Society of Genealogists and Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd are pleased to announce a new joint online course called I’m Stuck!  How can the Society of Genealogists Help Me? starting 28th May 2009 and repeated from 2nd July 2009.   
In this short two week course, Else Churchill of the Society of Genealogists will guide you through the steps needed to help you think logically about research problems and how to solve them.  She also introduces you to records and indexes, held by the Society of Genealogists, which can be used to break down those brick walls, and demonstrates how these resources help you extend your family tree.  Emphasis is also placed on learning how to apply research techniques to solve your problems.

Prospective students can pay and enroll via the Pharos website – at a price of £23.99 or a discounted price of £19.99 for members of the Society of Genealogists. 
The course is suitable for genealogists who have had some experience in family history research in England & Wales but who have found they have been unable to identify where their ancestor might have come from.

Genes Microsoft Office training courses