This page contains news of anything new in the field of family history and is linked to our facebook site and New at the TNA on this site. Items also appear in an illustrated form on our Facebook page.
Civilian War Dead Remembered
The records of tens of thousands of civilians killed in the Second World War are being posted online as part of a major new project. The documents have been digitised by Ancestry and placed on its website. Most of these on the new database were killed in air raids which claimed abot 40,000 civilian lives.
Nearly half of those (17,500) were Londoners, but several other cities were also badly hit, with Liverpool next worst off in terms of civilian deaths (2,677), followed by Birmingham, Bristol, Hull, Plymouth, Coventry, Portsmouth, Belfast and Glasgow.
The list also includes more that 2,300 Civil Defence Service members killed on duty, including air raid wardens and members of the Women’s Voluntary Services and home guard. Hundreds more were lost at sea, either while travelling on passenger ships or as sailors on merchant vessels.
Among them was James Baldwin-Webb, the Conservative MP for The Wrekin, who was travelling to Canada on the SS City of Benares in September 1940 when the ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat. The politician stayed on board to help women into thye lifeboats and was last seen standing by the captain as the ship went down.
Among other notable names on the list is that of Leslie Howard, who starred in Gone with the Wind. The actor was travelling in a civilian aircraft from Portugal to England when it was shot down over the Bay of Biscay in June, 1943. Eric Liddell, one of the two athletes in the film Chariots of Fire, is also on the roll. He died in 1945 in a Japanese internment camp in China, where he had been serving as a missionary.
At long last some Irish records
Excellent news for anyone with Irish ancestors as historical Irish newspapers have been published. Search nearly two million pages from six local and national Irish newspaper titles to discover the stories the newspapers hold about your ancestors. Newspapers add wonderful colour to the facts we know about our ancestors.
Pets in the 1911 census
We’ve discovered Bobs the cat who worked in the ‘mice hunting’ industry.
Records update on findmypast
Irish Court Records - Great news for anyone with Irish records as 2.5 million new Irish petty sessions court records have been added to the collection. The petty courts were the lowest courts in the country and dealt with the majority of lesser legal cases - civil and criminal. For the period 1828 to 1912 there are now 12.7 million records.
British Newspaper records - Thousands of new pages have been added to this collection bringing the total number of pages to almost 7 million for the period 1710 to 1965.
Do you have Linconshire ancestors? Handwritten registers from Lincolnshire Archives have been added spanning the period 1538 to 1911. They hold details of baptisms, marriages and burials from 103 parishes across Lincolnshire.
And you can now search new records of part-time soldiers who served in the British Army 1859 to 1955. Discover your ancestor's service number, rank, enlistment and discharge detaisl and medals awarded.
More Parish Records
If you have ancestors from Suffolk, Wiltshire, Sheffield, Ryedale, Northumberland and Durham, then 450,000 new records have been added to the Find my Past web site.
Criminals and their victims
This is a brand new collection of over half a million records, the first part of a two and a half million records project by Findmypast. The Crime, Prisons and Punishment records contain information about your ancestors that isn't available in other records. When completed, the whole group of records will cover the period 1770 to 1934. Among the records are judges' reports, prison registers, transfer papers and gaolers' reports. They document the fate of prisoners ranging from murderers and thieves to fraudsters and counterfeiters, as well as their victims.
How many times have you been told that researching Irish ancestors is very difficult because of the fire at Dublin Castle in 1922 destroyed the record holdings held there? Well, help is at hand as findmypast have just published 21 million birth, marriage and death records. The marriages span 1845-1958 with births and deaths covering 1864-1958. You will need to use the PayAsYouGo credits to view the records.
Scottish census records now available
If you have Scottish ancestors then you'll know it can be quite tricky trying to research them. But not any more! Genes Reunited now have Scottish census records and the collection starts at 1841 and goes right the way through to 1901.
Move to 20-year rule begins
From 1st January 2013, the government began its move towards releasing records when they are 20 years old instead of 30. A Commencement Order that brings into force the relevant parts of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010, plus two transition orders, have all been signed and laid in Parliament.
Over a 10-year transition period, Thre National Archives will work with government departments to speed up the process of files under the 30-year rule, receiving double the amount of files each year, to prepare for the transfer of records under the 30-year rule. This means that during 3013 the National Archives will receive records from 1983 and 1984. Then, two further years' worth of government records will be transferred each year until 2023 when we will receive records from 2003.
Hollywood stars and their UK roots
The British roots of some of Hollywood's biggest stars have been published online for the first time. Millions of United States census records are included in the collection, detailing British actors and actresses who moved to the US during the golden age of movies.
The 1940 US Federal Census Records, published by family history website Ancestry.co.uk includes Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, two of the greatest acting superstars, and Alfred Hitchcock, who moved to the US to direct some of the best-known films of all time, such as Psycho and The Birds.
Information is also revealed how the showbiz industry was booming in America during the 1940s, with more that 19,000 actors and actresses, nearly 55,000 dancers, showmen and athletes, and almost 24,000 motion picture projectionists listed in the collection.
Millions of newspaper articles at your fingertips
findmypast have just published millions of pages of historical British newspapers on findmypast.co.uk! The newspapers cover the vast period 1710-1950 and cover mopre than 200 local titles across England, Wales and Scotland.
Seven million new names & addresses
192.com have announced that they have just uploaded a major update to the edited Electoral Roll on 192.com
More than seven million new records have been added to the site, so if you have been searching for someone in the UK and not been able to find them, or if you want to ensure that you have the latest correct address for a friend or contact, log in and search again.
Genes reunited has added more records to its extensive Military Collection this month. The new records include WWII Wscapers and invaders, Napoleonic War, Royal Red Cross Register, Military Nurses and Chelsea Pensioners' Service Records.
Celebrating 10 years of tracing Scottish ancestors
The Family History website ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk celebrated its tenth birthday in September 2012. Officially launched in mid-September 2002, ScotlandsPeople was one of the first genealogy websites and it now contains over 90 million digital records and corresponding images and adds new sets of fully searchable historical records on a regular basis. The site also boasts over one million registered users from across the world and remains the largest online resource for Scottish census, birth, marriage and death records.
Single or Return?
The London Necropolis Company moved London's dead even further out of the city when, in 1874, it set up a 2,000 acre cemetery at Brookwood in Surrey. A private railway station was built next to Waterloo from which special trains transported the living and the dead to the cemetery, segrated not only by religion but also by first, second or third class. Only the facade of the station remains and the special trains run no more, but Brookwood cemetery is still open for business. For further information go to www.brookwoodcemetery.com
Did you know that Ancestry is available for free in all Record Offices and Libraries in Hampshire?
It has also been announced that the British firm that owns the AA and Saga companies is paying £1billion for Ancestry.com which includes Ancestry.co.uk. Based in Provo, Utah and founded in 1983, the UK site offers members access to a billion records including census, birth, marriage and death records, phone books and military papers. Recently it has published 6million Wills.
At the time of writing, Genes Reunited have announced that they have added a further 2.5 million records to their Parish Register collection which includes British Overseas Marriages, Docklands Ancestors and Baptism, Deaths and Burials, and Marriage records for Plymouth. Some of the records date back to the reign of Henry VIII.
Find My Past
Announcements just out that 20,000 London Docklands Ancestors records have been published. This latest collection covers 10,051 records for the period 1697 to 1704 and 10,034 records from 1704 to 1712. Both groups are for the church of St Dunstan, Stepney.