2.5 Million Crime Records Released by FindMyPast

The following News Release was just received from FindMyPast:

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This week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of over 2.5 million historic crime records in association with The National Archives. The release marks the final installment of the Crime, Prisons and Punishment collection, the largest searchable database of English and Welsh crime and punishment records available online, containing over 5.5 million records.

England & Wales, Crime, Prisons & Punishment, 1770-1935 Phase 3

New Series added to the collection include:
• PCOM 4: Home Office and Prison Commission: Female Licences – notes of licences to female convicts and in some cases, transfer papers. Each file can include a photograph (from 1871 onward), letters or notes from the prisoner, a Medical History sheet, reports of misconduct whilst in prison, the court of conviction, details of crime and of previous crimes.

• HO 26: Home Office: Criminal Registers, Middlesex – registers of all persons charged with indictable offences showing the results of the trials, the sentences in case of conviction, and dates of execution of persons sentence to death; some of the registers contain personal information respecting the prisoners.

• HO 27: Home Office: Criminal Registers, England and Wales – registers of all persons in England and Wales charged with indictable offences showing the results of the trials, the sentences in case of conviction, and dates of execution of persons sentence to death; some of the registers contain personal information respecting the prisoners.

Additional records have also been added to:

• HO 8: Home Office: Convict Hulks, Convict Prisons and Criminal Lunatic Asylums: Quarterly Returns of Prisoners 1824-1876
• HO 47: Home Office: Judges’ Reports on Criminals 1784-1830
• HO 140: Home Office: calendar of prisoners
• PCOM 2: Home Office and Prison Commission: prison records
• PCOM 3: Home Office and Prison Commission: Male Licences 1853-1887

England & Wales, Crime, Prisons & Punishment, 1770-1935 – Browse
Browse over 3,417 volumes of English and Welsh crime records held by The National Archives. The browse function allows you explore individual documents in their entirety including volumes of criminal calendars, prisoner registers, male and female prison licenses and more. Descriptions of each of the series included are available at the bottom of the search page.

Britain, Chronicles of Crime or the New Newgate Calendar, vols I & II, pub 1841
The Newgate Calendar contains more than 81,000 records that packed with fascinating tales of arson, murder, piracy, embezzlement, conspiracy, and treason. The records consist of a “series of memoirs and anecdotes of notorious characters who have outraged the laws of Great Britain from the earliest period” up to 1841.

Tasmania Convict records 1800-1893
Search more than 81,000 records to discover whether your ancestor transported to Van Diemen’s Land as a convict between 1800 and 1893. This varied collection contains records from over 20 different sources held by the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office.

Irish Newspapers
1,041,492 articles from two brand new titles have been added to our collection of historic Irish newspapers.
· Belfast Telegraph – 944,404 articles covering 1871 – 1881, 1886 – 1892, 1897 – 1899, 1903 – 1909
· Cork Constitution – 97,088 articles covering 1890 – 1891

British Ancestry? Then How British Are You?

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Many of us can claim British ancestry. If you have colonial ancestry, then chances are very high that your ancestors may have come from Britain. But how British are you, really? The following teaser is from an article posted and updated in the July 28, 2016 edition of the British Daily Mail. The article points out that, based on DNA, only about 37 percent of those living in Britain today are really British. I’d recommend reading the full article. Enjoy!

The average Briton is only really 37 per cent British – with the remainder of their genes coming from European ancestors from as far afield as Scandinavia, Spain and Greece.

DNA testing has also revealed how the people of Yorkshire are officially the most British people in the land, with their genetic makeup containing an average 41 per cent Anglo-Saxon stock.

London, meanwhile, is the most ethnically diverse, while the people of Wales have the highest proportion of ancestry from Spain and Portugal.

Read the full article.

War-Memorial.co.uk Launches Online

The following press release is from Mark at War-Memorial.co.uk.

War-Memorial.co.uk, the brand new website dedicated to Photographing, Transcribing and preserving war memorial records for the future, has just launched online providing a unique service that allows the researcher to find their ancestor using the largest collection of combined War Memorial records and images currently available anywhere.

This project is based on Mark Herber’s growing collection of war memorial photographs and personally checked transcriptions. It honours those men and women, who died or served our country in military conflict over the years and it already features over 20,000 detailed photographs of more than 1,200 memorials, commemorating over 270,000 people, with their names (and the memorial’s information about them) transcribed and indexed.

With regular additions of photographs, names and information to War-Memorial.co.uk expected as the months go by, War-Memorial.co.uk is the place to find your ancestors immortalised on the country’s war memorials.

Details that can be found in these memorial records include:
● Name
● Regiment, unit or ship
● War or date of death
● Rank and medals
● Photograph of the War Memorial from multiple angles and zooms

War-Memorial.co.uk’s collection includes a very large number of records from the Boer War of 1899-1902 and WW1 and WW2, but it also includes memorials from as early as the 17th century up to very recent conflicts such as Northern Ireland and Afghanistan. Soldiers, sailors, aircrew and civilians are all featured – and not just those who died. Many men and women who served but survived also appear in the records.

Using the sophisticated search technology and just basic details you can locate full information on War Memorials on which men and women are commemorated, find more details about them (such as their regiments, ships, ranks and medals), discover the location of the War Memorial and see images of the memorial itself and a close up view of the name of your ancestor!

War-Memorial.co.uk is offering some great value options to suit every pocket starting at £5 for a month’s access, £9.95 quarterly, or take out a great value annual subscription at only £29.95.

With regular additions of photographs, names and information to War-Memorial.co.uk expected as the months go by. War-Memorial.co.uk is the place to find your ancestors imortalised on the country’s war memorials.

For further information contact: war.memorials@yahoo.com

Example of finding your ancestor in the records

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Here we find the unusual records of a Thomas Ambrose, who was killed in 1916 by a bomb from a German airship flying over Sudbury. The transcribed record details how he died and where he is commemorated, as shown below:

Each transcript brings up details of the memorial with overview images of the entire memorial so you can find your ancestor using just their name, locate their memorial and add the images and information to your family history records, or even plan your visit!

Findmypast Publishes over 911,000 Royal Navy Pension Records Online for the First Time

The fallowing news release is from Find My Past
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Today, 09 April 2016, over 911,000 records of British Royal Navy pensions have been published online for the first time at Findmypast.

The publication, released in association with The National Archives, consists of an assortment of documents kept by the Greenwich Hospital and the Royal Hospital Chelsea to record the details of Greenwich Pensioners.

The British Royal Navy & Royal Marines service and pension records span over 230 years of British naval history from to 1704 to 1934 and contain over 270,000 scanned colour images. The collection will allow family historians to uncover fascinating details of their ancestor’s career with the Royal Navy, such as their period of service, where they served, when they joined and if they were wounded in the line of duty.

Since 1804, The Royal Greenwich Hospital has paid small out-pensions to large numbers of deserving applicants who had served in either the Navy or Marines, as well as admitting a fixed number to live as in-pensioners of the hospital. This is the first time that records relating to these payments have been made available online, allowing more people than ever before to learn about the lives of their naval ancestors.

The collection includes:

  • Registers of Greenwich Hospital out-pensioners and candidates
  • Service records of both officers’ & ratings’ between 1802 and 1919
  • Indexes of Greenwich Hospital pensioners and out-pensioners
  • Royal Hospital Chelsea payment returns for England, Scotland, Wales and Jersey
  • Royal Hospital Chelsea admission books, registers and papers

To coincide with the upcoming centenary of the Battle of Jutland, Findmypast has also released over 40,000 records of Royal Navy & Royal Marines personnel who served at Jutland. The Battle, which took place off the coast of Denmark between the 31st May and 1st June 1916, was the largest naval engagement of the First World War and cost the lives of nearly 7,000 British sailors.

Paul Nixon, military expert at Findmypast, says:
“As an island nation we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the men and women who have served Great Britain at sea. These naval pension records, indexed and published online for the first time, shed new light on our naval ancestors and will open up fresh lines of enquiry for thousands of people. This release cements Findmypast’s reputation for having the most comprehensive online collection of British naval records.”

Bruno Pappalardo, Principal Maritime Records Specialist at The National Archives, said:
“The complexity, diversity and nature of eighteenth and nineteenth century Royal Navy pension records has previously made the searching of such documents speculative and difficult to undertake. The release of these key pension records will be an essential contribution to opening up these records for research purposes.”

About Findmypast
Findmypast (previously DC Thomson Family History) is a British-owned world leader in online family history. It has an unrivalled record of online innovation in the field and 18 million registered users across its family of online brands, which includes Lives of the First World War, The British Newspaper Archive and Genes Reunited, amongst others.

Its lead brand, also called Findmypast, is a searchable online archive of over two billion family history records, ranging from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers and lots more. For members around the world, the site is a crucial resource for building family trees and conducting detailed historical research.

In April 2003, Findmypast was the first online genealogy site to provide access to the complete birth, marriage, and death indexes for England & Wales, winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation. Since that time, the company has digitised records from across the globe, including major collections from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States.

About The National Archives
The National Archives is a government department and an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). As the official archive of the UK government and England and Wales, we look after and make available to the public a collection of historical records dating back over 1,000 years, including records as diverse as Domesday Book and MI5 files.

Our 21st-century role is to collect and secure the future of the record, both digital and physical, to preserve it for generations to come, and to make it as accessible as possible. We do this by devising technological solutions to ensure the long-term survival of public records and working to widen access to our collection. The National Archives also advises on information management across government, publishes all UK legislation, manages Crown copyright and leads the archive sector. We work to promote and improve access to public sector information and its re-use. www.nationalarchives.gov.uk www.legislation.gov.uk

Archbishop of Canterbury discovers he is illegitimate at age 60

The following excerpt is from dailymail.co.uk

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The Archbishop of Canterbury’s real father confessed the priest was his secret son shortly before he died.

It also emerged that Sir Anthony Montague Browne’s dying wish was to see Justin Welby one last time.

The most senior figure in the Anglican Communion discovered last month that the late Montague Browne was his biological father and not Gavin Welby.
Montague Browne, who was Winston Churchill’s private secretary between 1952 and 1965, had told his step-son Paddy Macklin the truth, after years of denying his paternity.

Macklin, 56, is the son of Lady Shelagh Montague Browne from a previous marriage and is a renowned round-the-world yachtsman.
He had growing suspicious that Sir Anthony was Welby’s father and the family used to joke about the striking resemblance between the two.

Read the full article.

New FamilySearch Database Collections Update as of March 14, 2016

The following is from FamilySearch:

FamilySearch Logo 2014

There are 25 new collections updated time! Check out Denmark Deeds and Mortgages 1572-1928, Maryland Church Records 1668-1995, North Carolina Civil Marriages 1763-1868, United States War of 1812 Index to Service Records 1812-1815, United States Freedmen’s Bureau Marriages 1861-1872, and Utah LDS Missionary Registers 1860-1937. Search these and more by following the links below.

COLLECTION – INDEXED RECORDS – DIGITAL RECORDS – COMMENTS

Brazil Pernambuco Civil Registration 1804-2014 – 204,849 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
California San Pedro Immigration Office Special Inquiry Records 1930-1936 – 2,736 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Denmark Deeds and Mortgages 1572-1928 – 0 – 2,993,164 – Added images to an existing collection
England Cornwall and Devon Parish Registers 1538-2010 – 11,418 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Hawaii Index to Filipino Arrivals to Honolulu 1946 – 7,408 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Illinois Church Marriages 1805-1985 – 9,190 – 0 – New indexed records collection
Illinois Civil Marriages 1833-1889 – 8,975 – 0 – New indexed records collection
Illinois County Marriages 1810-1934 – 179,181 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Indiana Marriages 1811-2007 – 0 – 16,771 – Added images to an existing collection
Maryland Church Records 1668-1995 – 137,984 – 27,644 – New indexed records and images collection
Maryland Piney Point Crew Lists 1950-1956 – 5,429 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Michigan County Marriages Index 1820-1937 – 1,012 – 0 – New indexed records collection
New Jersey Church Records 1675-1970 – 1,144 – 613 – New indexed records and images collection
New Jersey State Census 1865 – 0 – 3,646 – New browsable image collection.
New York New York Soundex to Passenger and Crew Lists 1887-1921 – 5,800 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
North Carolina Civil Marriages 1763-1868 – 53,614 – 4,567 – New indexed records and images collection
Ohio Marriages 1800-1942 – 3,567 – 785 – New indexed records and images collection
Peru Junín Civil Registration 1881-2005 – 87,987 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Spain Province of Cádiz Municipal Records 1784-1956 – 0 – 155,324 – Added images to an existing collection
Tennessee Civil Marriages 1838-1888 – 5,946 – 1,079 – New indexed records and images collection
Texas and Arizona Arrivals 1903-1910 – 59,299 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States Freedmen’s Bureau Marriages 1861-1872 – 34,323 – 599 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection
United States War of 1812 Index to Service Records 1812-1815 – 1,130,851 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Utah LDS Missionary Registers 1860-1937 – 48,207 – 0 – New indexed records collection
Virginia Alexandria Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels 1946-1957 – 6,669 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

New FamilySearch Database Collections Update for February 16 & 22, 2016

The following is from FamilySearch:
FamilySearch Logo 2014

You will find new marriage records from Kansas and Maryland this week along with England Devon Bishop’s Transcripts 1558-1887, England Lancashire Oldham Cemetery Registers 1797-2004, and United States World War II Prisoners of War 1941-1945. I’ve also included updates from February 16 on the following list. Check out all of the marriage records from a variety of states, including New York, Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio. Other highlights include New York New York Index to Alien Crewmen Who Were Discharged or Who Deserted 1917-1957, California San Francisco Airplane Arrival Card Index 1936-1949, Ukraine Kyiv Orthodox Consistory Church Book Duplicates 1734-1920, and New Zealand Auckland Waikumete Cemetery Records 1886-1943. Find these and more by following the links below.

COLLECTION – INDEXED RECORDS – DIGITAL RECORDS – COMMENTS

California San Francisco Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving 1954- 1957 – 375,314 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
England Devon Bishop’s Transcripts 1558-1887 – 256,201 – 93,511 – New indexed records and images collection
England Lancashire Oldham Cemetery Registers 1797-2004 – 481,340 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Indiana Gary and East Chicago Crew Lists 1945-1956 – 17,094 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Kansas County Marriages 1855-1911 – 148,676 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Maryland Marriages 1666-1970 – 96,638 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Massachusetts Delayed and Corrected Vital Records 1753-1900 – 31,701 – 11,788 – New indexed records and images collection
United States World War II Prisoners of War 1941-1945 – 143,374 – 0 – New indexed records collection

BillionGraves Index – 227,783 – 227,783 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection
Canada British Columbia Marriage Registrations 1859-1932; 1937-1938 – 6,123 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
California San Francisco Airplane Arrival Card Index 1936-1949 – 22,858 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
England and Wales Census 1861 – 2,504,271 – 111,092 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection
England Durham Diocese Marriage Bonds & Allegations 1692-1900 – 35,079 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Florida and South Carolina Airplane Arrival Manifests 1944-1945 – 0 – 127 – New browsable image collection.
Florida Knights Keys Passenger Lists 1908-1912 – 5,399 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Honduras Civil Registration 1841-1968 – 0 – 609 – Added images to an existing collection
Idaho Birth Index 1861-1911 – 60,430 – 0 – New indexed records collection
Idaho Death Certificates 1938-1961 – 118,152 – 0 – New indexed records collection
Illinois Cook County Deaths 1878-1994 – 3,732,138 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Indiana Marriages 1811-2007 – 276,945 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Italy Bergamo Civil Registration (State Archive) 1866-1901 – 6,965 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Italy Caltanissetta Civil Registration (State Archive) 1820-1935 – 78,629 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Italy Grosseto Civil Registration (State Archive) 1851-1907 – 113,690 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Italy Modena Civil Registration (State Archive) 1806-1942 – 67,474 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Italy Prato Civil Registration (State Archive) 1866-1923 – 7,183 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Italy Reggio Calabria Civil Registration (State Archive) 1784-1943 – 0 – 2,143,899 – Added images to an existing collection
Italy Viterbo Civil Registration (State Archive) 1870-1943 – 90,051 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Kansas County Marriages 1855-1911 – 311,857 – 2,333 – Added images to an existing collection
Kansas Marriages 1811-1911 – 185,068 – 0 – New indexed records collection
Liberia Marriage Records 1941-1974 – 24,625 – 24,406 – New browsable image collection.
Louisiana Parish Marriages 1837-1957 – 46,810 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Maine Crew List Arriving at Eastport 1949-1958 – 7,239 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Maryland County Marriages 1658-1940 – 53,762 – 0 – New indexed records collection
Minnesota County Marriages 1860-1949 – 570,213 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Mississippi Tippah County Marriages 1858-1979 – 19,583 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Missouri County Marriage Naturalization and Court Records 1800-1991 – 57,837 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
New York County Marriages 1847-1848; 1908-1936 – 252,052 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
New York New York Index to Alien Crewmen Who Were Discharged or Who Deserted 1917-1957 – 1,270,298 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island) 1891-1924 – 0 – 3,243,611 – New browsable image collection.
New York Passenger Lists 1820-1891 – 30,480 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
New Zealand Auckland Waikumete Cemetery Records 1886-1943 – 0 – 971 – New browsable image collection.
North Carolina County Marriages 1762-1979 – 1,796 – 1,796 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
North Dakota Manifests of Immigrant Arrivals 1910-1952 – 11,631 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Ohio County Marriages 1789-2013 – 92,719 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Ohio Washington County Court Records 1810-1930 – 0 – 6,421 – Added images to an existing collection
Oklahoma County Marriages 1890-1995 – 126,532 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Ontario Births 1869-1910 – 125,109 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Pennsylvania Crew Lists arriving at Erie 1952-1957 – 44,119 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Peru Áncash Civil Registration 1888-2005 – 0 – 3,146 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Peru Cajamarca Civil Registration 1938-1996 – 0 – 3,175 – Added images to an existing collection
Philippines Civil Registration (National) 1945-1984 – 180,213 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Poland Radom Roman Catholic Church Books 1587-1966 – 1,884 – 62 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection
Portugal Portalegre Catholic Church Records 1859-1911 – 4,441 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
South Africa Netherdutch Reformed Church Registers (Pretoria Archive) 1838- 1991 – 48,422 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Spain Province of Cádiz Municipal Records 1784-1956 – 0 – 57 – Added images to an existing collection
Ukraine Kyiv Orthodox Consistory Church Book Duplicates 1734-1920 – 0 – 189,353 – Added images to an existing collection
Utah County Marriages 1887-1937 – 337,714 – 124,465 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection
Venezuela Archdiocese of Mérida Catholic Church Records 1654-2013 – 0 – 405,819 – Added images to an existing collection

Crime & Punishment: Historic Notices of Wanted British Criminals Go Online

The following news release is from Matthew Deighton, with Ancestry.com:

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CRIME AND PUNISHMENT: HISTORIC NOTICES OF WANTED CRIMINALS GO ONLINE
More than 90 years of Police Gazette records published online by Ancestry

♣ Police Gazettes reveal fascinating information on suspected wanted criminals, crimes committed and missing persons
♣ A suspect in the Whitechapel Murders and infamous Sheffield murderer Charles Peace appear in the records
♣ Entries reveal child murders committed by desperate single mothers who were ostracised from society

More than 100,000 records and images from Police Gazettes, revealing details of wanted suspected criminals, offenders in custody and missing persons have been published online by Ancestry, the world’s largest family history resource.

The UK, Police Gazettes, 1812-1902, 1921-1927 collection, sourced from Luminary Trading Limited and Lastchancetoread, contains copies of the “Police Gazette”, or “Hue and Cry”. The publication was used for communication between members of the police force across the United Kingdom – much like the National Crime Agency’s most wanted list today.

Searchable by name, age, type, date and location of crime, these records contain vital information and fascinating detail for anybody looking to find out more about either an historic offender or indeed a victim of crime in their family tree. The records can even give a glimpse at the faces of wanted suspected criminals through police sketches issued alongside requests from information.

Several interesting characters feature in the records, including:

♣ Charles Peace – Maimed in an industrial incident as a child, murderer Peace appears in the records in 1876 in an appeal for information about his location on several occasions. He’s described as ‘thin and slightly built’, with ‘grey (nearly white) hair, beard and long whiskers’. The record goes on to give details of his trade – a picture-frame maker, with a history of burglary. He murdered a policeman and a neighbour, but managed to stay on the run until he was arrested for burglary in London, and eventually faced the death penalty

♣ Michael Ostrog – Ostrog, one of the suspects in the Whitechapel Murders that made Jack the Ripper famous, was charged with larceny, but failed to report after he was released from Surrey County Lunatic Asylum in 1888. The record lists several of his aliases: Bertrand Ashley, Claude Clayton and Dr. Grant, and describes him as ‘’a dangerous man’, who had moles on his shoulder and neck, as well as ‘corporal punishment marks’. An accompanying sketch of a bearded Ostrog is an example the police tried to identify criminals on the run.

Ostrog was not the only man in the Police Gazettes to use aliases, with one in ten (9%) of all entries featuring a pseudonym, perhaps unsurprising given that most criminals attempt to shield their identity from the authorities.

The records also include a number of reports featuring murdered new-born babies, which illustrates the issues attached to illegitimate children in the 19th Century. The Bastardy Clause in the New Poor Law of 1834 made all illegitimate children solely the responsibility of their mother until the age of 16, which left mothers, often estranged from their families, with limited choices. In desperation, many mothers resorted to infanticide to protect themselves. Many of the mothers were never identified, with the police often seeking more information on the crime. Some examples from the records include:

♣ ‘Ann Yates’ – Murdered her daughter and threw the body into a well in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, in 1875 after being forced to live in the Shepton-Mallet Union Workhouse when she was unable to provide for her illegitimate offspring. The police believed the ‘good-looking’ 24-year old had fled to Cardiff to start a new life

♣ ‘Two women’ – In 1894, the body of a newly-born male child was found in the Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Hoghton, tied up in a white coarse apron. The police sought two women who were observed on the canal bank in Blackburn when a splash was heard, ‘caused by one of the women throwing something into the water’. The younger woman, who ‘appeared to be ill’, was leaning on the arm of an older woman who was ‘tall and stout’

Ancestry’s Senior Content Manager Miriam Silverman comments: “This collection provides rare insight into crime and punishment in the 19th Century as well as helping us to better understand how the British police force worked shortly after it was introduced.”

“Whether you’re locating the black sheep in your family tree, discovering more about an ancestor who was the victim of crime or even unearthing some infamous criminals, these records can help reveal the details.”

To search the UK, Police Gazettes, 1812-1902, 1921-1927 collection for free, and more than 16 billion other historical records worldwide, visit www.ancestry.co.uk.

ABOUT ANCESTRY

Ancestry is the world’s largest online family history resource with more than 2 million paying subscribers across all its websites. More than 16 billion records have been added, and users have created more than 70 million family trees to the core Ancestry websites, including its flagship site www.ancestry.com and its affiliated international websites.

Ancestry.co.uk contains more than one billion records in collections including the most comprehensive online set of England, Wales and Scotland Censuses from 1841 to 1911, the fully searchable England and Wales Birth, Marriage and Death Indexes, the World War One British Army Service and Pension records, UK Parish Records and the British Phone Books.

Ancestry operates a suite of online family history brands, including Archives.com, Fold3.com, Newspapers.com, and offers the AncestryDNA product, sold by its subsidiary, Ancestry International DNA, LLC, all of which are designed to empower people to discover, preserve and share their family history.

Why Do So Many Brits Have Red Hair? The Answer May Be Cloudy Weather. Maybe…

The following excerpt is from a fascinating article posted at parentabout.com:

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The breakdown is 13% of Scottish people, 10% of Irish people. 6% of English people have red hair. Now genetic researchers want to know why so many in Birtain have red hair and the answer might be found in the cloudy weather found in the British Isles.

BritainsDNA is conducting a project that’s aimed at solving the mystery of the red hair and they hope to have the results by early next year. they’ve developed a test that can determine who carries the red gene variant and are analyzing the DNA of 4000 test subjects in order to find out who carries the gene variant that causes red hair, a variant that mightn’t show itself for generations…

Read the full article.

New FamilySearch Database Collections Update for November 9, 2015

The following is from FamilySearch:

FamilySearch Logo 2014

Ecuador Catholic Church Records 1565-2011, United Kingdom World War I Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps Records 1917- 1920, Spain Province of Barcelona Municipal Records 1387-1986, Italy Forlì-Cesena Forlì Civil Registration (State Archive) 1800-1815 1866-1930, and Philippines Manila Civil Registration 1899-1984 have large additions this week. To browse these collections and more, follow the links below.

COLLECTION – INDEXED RECORDS – DIGITAL RECORDS – COMMENTS

Brazil Santa Catarina Catholic Church Records 1714-1977 – 95,057 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Delaware Vital Records 1650-1974 – 0 – 7,214 – Added images to an existing collection
Ecuador Catholic Church Records 1565-2011 – 252,478 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Germany Prussia Westphalia Minden Miscellaneous Collections from the Municipal Archives 1574-1902 – 36,352 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Iowa County Death Records 1880-1992 – 39,508 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Italy Forlì-Cesena Forlì Civil Registration (State Archive) 1800-1815 1866-1930 – 0 – 2,090,185 – New browsable image collection.
Italy Imperia Ventimiglia Civil Registration (State Archive) 1806-1913 – 0 – 20,576 – New browsable image collection.
New Zealand Auckland Albertland Index 1862-1962 – 10,779 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
New Zealand Auckland Port Albert Membership Lists and Minutes from the Church of Christ 1875-1926 – 0 – 108 – New browsable image collection.
Nova Scotia Delayed Births 1837-1904 – 72,693 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Peru Puno Civil Registration 1890-2005 – 25,353 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Philippines Civil Registration (Archives Division) 1902-1945 – 0 – 185 – Added images to an existing collection
Philippines Manila Civil Registration 1899-1984 – 1,813,161 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Spain Province of Barcelona Municipal Records 1387-1986 – 0 – 104,684 – Added images to an existing collection
United Kingdom World War I Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps Records 1917-1920 – 155,933 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Washington Seattle Passenger and Crew Lists of Airplanes 1947-1954 – 44,407 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Help Us Publish More Free Records Online
Searchable historical records are made available on FamilySearch.org through the help of thousands of online volunteers worldwide. These volunteers transcribe (or index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are always needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published weekly online on FamilySearch.org. Learn how you can volunteer to help provide free access to the world’s historical genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org/Indexing.

About FamilySearch International
FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources for free at FamilySearch.org or through more than 4,883 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The 1939 Register of England and Wales Has Launched!

A few days ago, I posted a blog about the 1939 Register. The database launched today with much fanfare. Following is an excerpt from an interesting article posted November 1 at the DailyMail website.

It is a remarkable snapshot of a nation plunged into war.

Dubbed The Wartime Domesday Book, the record of Britain in 1939 will go online for the first time this week.

It lists the entire population of England and Wales, from King George VI to ‘general labourers’ and ‘coal hewers’, two common occupations of the day.

The typical 1939 woman was Mary Smith, a 35-year-old housewife – or ‘unpaid domestic worker’, as it was amusingly listed then.

The average man was called William or John and was 33. He was either a ‘general labourer or coal hewer’, although the most popular profession was ‘retired’.

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The Duchess of Cambridge’s maternal great-grandma Eliza Chandler was a widow and ‘food packer’ in Middlesex according to her entry.
The Duchess of Cambridge’ (Kate Middleton) maternal great-grandma Eliza Chandler was a widow and ‘food packer’ in Middlesex according to her entry.

The 1939 Register of England and Wales – Coming November 2 to FindMyPast.com

For those with family living in England and Wales at the start of WWII, the digitization and Internet access to the 1939 Register is an exciting development. Forty-one million people are included in the records, while records for 28 million will become available at launch. British privacy laws (their 100 year rule) restrict access to some records for some time.

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The following news release is from FindMyPast.com:

Explore your world on the eve of war – 41 million people recorded in one day on the eve of WWII

The 1939 Register will be launched online on November 2nd by Findmypast.com in association with The National Archives. Dubbed ‘The Wartime Domesday Book,’ it is the most comprehensive survey of the population of England and Wales ever taken.

On November 2nd 2015, the eagerly awaited 1939 Register will be launched online by Findmypast, a world leader in family history. Anyone can now discover their family, their home and their community on the eve of WWII. Until now, the most recent information available was the 1911 census. Owing to the 100 year rule, the 1921 census will not be released until 2022, while the 1931 census was destroyed in the war and the 1941 census was never taken. The 1939 Register therefore bridges an important 30-year gap in history.

In September 1939, WWII had just broken out. 65,000 enumerators were employed to visit every house in England and Wales to take stock of the civil population. The information that they recorded was used to issue Identity Cards, plan mass evacuations, establish rationing and co-ordinate other war-time provisions. In the longer term, the 1939 Register would go on to play a central role in the establishment of post-war services like the NHS.

Comprising 1.2 million pages in 7,000 volumes and documenting the lives of 41 million people, the 1939 Register opens a window to a world on the brink of cataclysmic change. Each record includes the names of inhabitants at each address, their date of birth, marital status and occupation. A wealth of contextual information, including period photographs never before seen online, infographics, region-specific newspaper articles and historical and contemporary maps, are personally tailored to each record, offering a rich and unique user experience unrivalled by any other family history research tool to date.

Findmypast has undertaken a monumental task in digitising the 1939 Register. Stacked end-to-end, the hard copy volumes would have reached twice the height of St Paul’s Cathedral. Work on conserving, scanning, transcribing and digitising the Register has been ongoing for more than a year. Despite the challenge of translating 65,000 unique sets of handwriting, including updates that have been made by hand up until 1991, Findmypast guarantees at least 98.5% accuracy of readable records. The result is a direct route to the past that will allow users to glimpse their family, their home and their communities in 1939, as they’ve never seen them before.

Paul Nixon, military expert at Findmypast says: “The 1939 Register is one of the most important documents of modern British history. It allows us to see where our relatives were living, with whom and what jobs they did at the start of World War II. To help people understand the period better and to create a picture of our world in 1939, we have added a range of contextual information to bring the records to life. Maps, photographs, newspapers, and infographics will immerse the user in the period and give a flavour of what life was like for our parents or grandparents.”

Audrey Collins, family history records specialist at The National Archives says: “The release of the 1939 Register is one of the most important events in family history in a long time. The significance of these documents cannot be underplayed; they provide a snapshot of life on the eve of war. The online publication of the 1939 Register offers us the chance to understand where our families came from, who lived in our neighbourhood, and how it has changed over the years.”

The 1939 Register is available online only at http://www.findmypast.com/. The Register is free to search but there is a charge to view the records with different pay per view packages starting at £6.95. Owing to data protection, there will be some closed records at the time of launch, either because the individual recorded is still living and less than 100 years old or proof of death has not been verified. At time of launch 28 million records will be searchable. The Register will be updated weekly. Findmypast, working with The National Archives, will have an ongoing process to identify records which can be opened on proof of death provided either by matching against robust data sets or supplied by users. Records will also be opened as people reach the age of 100 years+1 day.

For further information please contact Alex Cox; email: acox@findmypast.com Tel: 07464 946769

Prices in American Dollars will be as follows:

Records will be available to purchase for $10.95 per household or $37.95 for our 5 household bundle ($7.59 per household).

About Findmypast
Findmypast (previously DC Thomson Family History) is a British-owned world leader in online family history. It has an unrivalled record of online innovation in the field and 18 million registered users across its family of online brands, which includes Lives of the First World War, The British Newspaper Archive and Genes Reunited, amongst others.

Its lead brand, also called Findmypast, is a searchable online archive of over four billion family history records, ranging from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers and lots more. For members around the world, the site is a crucial resource for building family trees and conducting detailed historical research.

In April 2003, Findmypast was the first online genealogy site to provide access to the complete birth, marriage, and death indexes for England & Wales, winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation. Since that time, the company has digitised records from across the globe, including the 1911 Census which they digitised in association with The National Archives.

About The National Archives
The National Archives is one of the world’s most valuable resources for research. 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/

TheGenealogist Has Released 5 Million British Emigration Records

The following news release is from Nick Thorne at TheGenealogist:

New Passenger lists go online with unique search facilities

RMS Campania, one of the ships included in the passenger lists.
RMS Campania, one of the ships included in the passenger lists.

TheGenealogist has just released five million Emigration BT27 records as part of their growing immigration and emigration record set. Uniquely TheGenealogist allows you to track transmigration of people across countries routing through British ports on their way to America. TheGenealogist is the only website with the facility to discover families travelling together on the same voyage using our SmartSearch technology.

The new records contain the historical records of passengers who departed by sea from Britain in the years between 1896 and 1909. These new records significantly boosts the already strong Immigration, Emigration, Naturalisation and passenger list resources on TheGenealogist.

TheGenealogist has further revealed that these records will be shortly followed by the release of many more unique migration records.

The searchable records released today will allow researchers to

● Find people using British shipping lines and travelling to places such as America, Canada, India, New Zealand and Australia in the Passenger lists of people leaving from, or passing through the United Kingdom, by sea which were kept by the Board of Trade’s Commercial and Statistical Department and its successors.

● The Homestead Act of 1862 in America gave free land to settlers who developed it for at least five years, and became a particular magnet for Norwegians, Danes, and Swedes, who arrived in their millions. To reach America, it was necessary to travel initially to England in order to then board one of the large transatlantic passenger ships and this preliminary journey has been recorded for many transmigrant passengers within the BT27 records. For the first time these can be easily found using the unique transmigration button.

● SmartSearch identifies potential family members travelling together. When our system recognises groups of people on the same voyage as a potential family it displays a family icon. This then allows you to easily view the family.

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● These fully indexed records enable family historians to search by name, port of embarkation, port of destination, country of departure, country arrival and nationality.

This release adds to TheGenealogist’s Immigration and Emigration records that already include the useful Naturalisation and Denization records.

Those with ancestors who travelled out of Britain will welcome this fascinating new release from TheGenealogist that reveal the details of the coming and going of passengers and is a precursor of a set of unique records joining the collection shortly.

Nigel Bayley, MD of TheGenealogist said: “We intend to make researching migrating ancestors easier with our new smarter interfaces and adding more records covering a growing range of countries.”

An example from the passenger list records:
Within the passenger lists, on TheGenealogist, we can find the passage of the Dunottar Castle from Southampton to Cape Town in South Africa on the 14th October 1899. One of the passengers was the young Winston Churchill who, at that time, was a member of the Press and was going out to report on the start of the Second Boer War.

Two days before his ship’s departure the war had broken out between Britain and the Boer Republic. At the news of this conflict Mr Churchill had obtained a commission to act as a war correspondent for The Morning Post newspaper. In return he was to be paid £250 a month for his services.

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After spending a number of weeks in the Colony he managed to get himself onto an armoured train, loaded with British soldiers, performing a reconnoitre between Frere and Chieveley in the British Natal Colony during November 1899. A Boer commando force, however, had placed a big boulder on the track and the train crashed into it. The Boers, having succeeded in stopping the train, then opened up with their field guns and rifle fire from a vantage position.

After a fight a number of the British were taken prisoner, but the locomotive, decoupled from the carriages and ladened with men, managed to escape. Churchill, unfortunately for him, was not one of those on-board the loco. Without his sidearm, which he had left on the train, he had no option but to surrender to the Boers. Churchill was then imprisoned in a POW camp in Pretoria. After being held captive for about four weeks Churchill escaped on the evening of 12th December 1899. He did this by vaulting over the wall to the neighbouring property and taking flight.

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If we look at Churchill’s travelling companions on the ship out to Cape Town, scheduled to take 65 days, we can see that he was sailing with a mixture of merchants, a jeweller, an actor, a Peer of the Realm (Lord Gerard), an optician and a couple of lawyers. The Hon A. Campbell was also listed, he was another member of the press corps who had made it on to that particular Castle Line sailing to the war zone with Churchill.

Remains of at Least 50 People Found at Westminster Abby

The following excerpt is from the September 23, 2015 edition of Newser.com:

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(NEWSER) – Workers demolishing a section of Westminster Abbey to make room for a new tower stumbled upon something most unexpected (at least in that part of the abbey): the remains of at least 50 people, including the skeleton of a 3-year-old, that archaeologists believe date back to the 11th and 12th centuries, the Guardian reports. The “skulls and leg bones stacked up into dense piles like firewood” were discovered under Victorian drainage pipes outside the wall of Poets’ Corner, where famous literary figures such as Charles Dickens and Rudyard Kipling are buried and where memorials have been erected to such notables as Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Jane Austen. The estimated date of the remains means the deceased may have witnessed the chaotic events of 1066 in England, including the Norman invasion, the Guardian notes.

Read the full article.

Mary, Queen of Scots, Cleared of Murdering Her Husband – Over 400 Years Later

The following teaser is from the September 25, 2105 edition of DailyMail.com:

Mary Queen of Scots, depicted here around 1565.
Mary Queen of Scots, depicted here around 1565.

Mary, Queen of Scots has been cleared of any involvement in the notorious murder of her husband, more than four centuries after the unsolved crime took place.

The rebel queen, who plotted against Elizabeth I, has long been suspected of bringing about the death of Lord Darnley, her royal consort who himself had royal blood.

Their marriage had been under serious strain since they wed in 1565, and just two years later he and his squire were found dead in an orchard in Kirk o’Field, Edinburgh.

Not long before the bodies were discovered, an explosion had rocked Lord Darnley’s home, throwing even more confusion over the deaths, which are believed to have been carried out by suffocation.

However, a panel assembled by the Royal Society of Edinburgh was convened this week and has begun considering the crime with modern investigative methods – and has concluded that Mary’s hands are clean.

Read the full article.