Wednesday, 1 April 2020

UK's National Archives to offer free access to digitised collections

From the UK's National Archives (https://nationalarchives.gov.uk) based at Kew, England, via Twitter (@UKNatArchives):

We’re pleased to confirm that we will be giving everyone free access to our digitised collections very soon, but it’s taking our amazing digital team a bit of time to make it happen. (1/2)

They’re facing similar challenges to the rest of the world with regard to connecting to our various technical systems while working from home, and many of them are also juggling childcare duties. Stay tuned for an update soon! (2/2)

Followed by:

Wow - what a response! Just to clarify, we’re referring to digitised collections that are available on our website (and usually chargeable) – at this stage, this doesn’t extend to our collections on other sites.

Watch this space...!

Chris

You can pre-order my new book, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scottish2 (out April). Also available, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Irish1 and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scotland1. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

NHS Scotland emergency hospital to be named after Louisa Jordan

The proposed emergency hospital to be created at the Scottish Exhibition Centre by NHS Scotland is to be named NHS Louisa Jordan, the Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has announced today in Holyrood. The announcement is available at https://www.gov.scot/news/nhs-louisa-jordan/. If required, the emergency hospital will act in a similar way to the NHS Nightingale facility currently being established in London by NHS England.

The naming of the hospital is a fitting honour to Maryhill born nursing sister Louisa Jessie Jordan, who in the First World War found herself as a member of the Scottish Women's Hospital serving with the 1st Serbian unit. After much service treating the Serbian wounded and sufferers of typhus, Louisa sadly died of typhus herself in March 1915. Her sacrifice is remembered each year to this day by the people of Serbia.

For more on Louisa's story, and that of the Scottish Women's Hospital, please visit http://www.scotlandswar.co.uk/jordan.html and http://www.parliament.scot/EducationandCommunityPartnershipsresources/EDU_10_Scottish_Womens_Hospital_Women.pdf.


Chris

You can pre-order my new book, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scottish2 (out April). Also available, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Irish1 and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scotland1. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Secretary Hand - the Joscelyn font!

Every so often, something comes along that just makes me laugh for its sheer brilliance and simplicity. This is one such occasion - a font that writes in a style of Secretary Hand!

To be slightly more correct, there is a font available for your word processing software called Joscelyn. I noticed it being tweeted about earlier on the Manuscripts After Print account (@MSS_AfterPrint), which was retweeted by a reader (sorry, have lost who that was, but you are a hero!). The font attempts to render text in an old European style of handwriting known as Secretary Hand, which in Scotland was well used up to the 18th century, and which can cause a great number of headaches with earlier documents.

This is an example of the font's style...


The phrase written here is "This is some craic, so it is....!!!" (Ulster English and Secretary Hand, together at last!)

The Scottish Handwriting website (www.scottishhandwriting.com) suggests that a useful practice phrase to write down in Scots, using Secretary Hand, is 'sic braw secretarie hand'. This is that phrase from the site, with Joscelyn's rendition of it placed below:

You'll notice some differences - it's... complicated! But you'll find more about it on the website.

Whether the font can help you attune to the forms of Secretary Hand script or not, it is still immense fun to have something a bit Oldie Wordie on my computer!

The tweet noted more about the font earlier:

We've been having loads of fun with Joscelyn, an amazing secretary hand font developed by the incredibly talented Peter Baker. It's based on the main hand of Corpus Christi College MS 488 and is freely available at github.com/psb1558/Joscel. Check out those ligatures!

Following the link takes you to a page where you can download a zipped folder called Joscelyn.zip. Save this, then extract the files. Once done, simply right click on Joscelyn.otf and click on install.
 
With thanks to all involved!

Chris

You can pre-order my new book, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scottish2 (out April). Also available, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Irish1 and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scotland1. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

TNA: Volunteers needed to transcribe Royal Navy service records

From the UK's National Archives at Kew (www.nationalarchives.gov.uk):

Volunteers needed to transcribe Royal Navy service records

The National Archives is currently seeking volunteers to help transcribe First World War Royal Navy service records for a free online database.

Service records for the First World War can provide information about individuals and their lives. However, as crew lists for ships and submarines during this period rarely survive, it is difficult for researchers to determine who was on a ship or in a certain battle together. Royal Navy: First World War - Lives at Sea is a fully-searchable online resource, hosted by the National Maritime Museum, which provides researchers with crew lists that have been reconstructed from transcribed service records. The project aims to facilitate and promote new research into topics such as mortality rates, invalidity, the areas men were recruited from and the type of tradesmen enlisted.

Volunteers on the project are tasked with inputting information from service records into a database. All you need to be involved is a computer, internet connection and a willingness to learn. No prior historical knowledge or training is necessary. There is also no minimum time commitment for volunteers. Whether you can do a little or a lot, all contributions are welcome.

For more information and to register your interest, please contact crewlists@nationalarchives.gov.uk.

Royal Navy: First World War - Lives at Sea is a collaborative project between The National Archives and the National Maritime Museum, with the generous support of the Crew List Index Project team.


(With thanks to Clare Kelly)

Chris

You can pre-order my new book, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scottish2 (out April). Also available, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Irish1 and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scotland1. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Ulster Historical Foundation - Migration Memorial, Genealogy Hub, and Books Bundle

From the Ulster Historical Foundation (www.ancestyireland.com):

Invest in our future - Migration Memorial and Genealogy Hub

Ulster Historical Foundation would like to develop an Irish Migration Memorial where interested parties can commemorate a specific ancestor, or family line that they have been researching. By supporting our proposed Migration Memorial you would also be contributing to the development of our "Genealogy Hub" - a dedicated research centre, library and lecture facility based in Northern Ireland.

The Migration Memorial itself would be in the form of a tree on which members of the public can sponsor a leaf in memory of their ancestors. A tree and leaves we believe are particularly appropriate motifs in relation to immigration and family history.

For more information visit: www.ancestryireland.com/invest-in-our-future/



Irish ancestors research book bundle

At this time of great uncertainty and as many of us find ourselves having to isolate from the outside world, might we suggest that now might be the time to do the family history research that we always intended to do?

To this end, we have added a collection of core genealogy publications - our Irish Ancestors Research Bundle - to our online bookstore. All three books included in this bundle fully complement each other and are highly valuable resources to help guide your research.

We would recommend these titles to anyone with even a fleeting interest in researching their Irish family history.

For more information go to: www.booksireland.org.uk/store/books/irish-ancestors-research-bundle


(With thanks to the Ulster Historical Foundation - and I'm honoured to have my book included in their bundle!)

Chris

You can pre-order my new book, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scottish2 (out April). Also available, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Irish1 and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scotland1. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Family Tree magazine announces new initiatives for readers

From Family Tree magazine (www.family-tree.co.uk)

The team behind Family Tree magazine and the family-tree.co.uk website have launched a number of new initiatives to support family historians and the genealogy community during the Covid-19 lockdown, including a new podcast, a weekly email, and a growing library of family history videos.

Associate Publisher Matt Hill said: ‘We’re determined to do everything we can to help family historians around the world carry on with their genealogy research during these tough times. Of course, safety is the number one priority for us all, but if circumstances and time allow, working on our family tree could be a welcome distraction, these initiatives are aimed at keeping our audience occupied and motivated.’

The new initiatives include:

'Daily inspiration’ activities, hints and tips
We've introduced a new section to the website and are also adding daily updates, tips, guides and more onto our social media platforms. Just tune in to facebook, twitter or instagram every day at 12 noon, or visit the website: www.family-tree.co.uk/how-to-guides/daily-inspiration

Brand new Family Tree podcast
We’re so excited to have launched our own podcast! It’s completely free and features interviews with top genealogy experts, updates from the team, and plenty more. The podcast is available on all popular podcast platforms, including apple. Listen here: https://familytr.ee/podcast

A series of informative video guides (free to magazine subscribers)
The Family Tree Videos Library is growing all the time, featuring in-depth guides from expert genealogists including Mary Evans OBE, Janet Few, and Dr Penny Walters. The videos are free to Family Tree subscribers (print or digital edition) or can rented for as little as £1.99. Watch the videos at: www.family-tree.co.uk/videos

New weekly newsletter
We're now sending out a new weekly email each Monday, packed with more inspiration, hints and tips to get family historians motivated for the coming week. The email also gives genealogy organisations the chance to share their activities and offers. The newsletter is FREE, sign up at: www.family-tree.co.uk/account/register

Special offers to keep reading Family Tree
We’ve introduced a special subscription offer: get your first three issues for just £3 and we’ll deliver them straight to your door. After your first three issues the subscription changes to a quarterly Direct Debit of £10.99. Whilst we hope readers will want to continue receiving it through the post, we’re relaxing our minimum term rule so subscriptions can be cancelled after three issues without charge. Find out more at: https://familytr.ee/3for3sale

The digital edition of Family Tree features videos, audio and image galleries in addition to the wide range of guides, hints, tips and updates. The digital edition also features an ‘Easy-reader’ option so you can read the text at a size that suits you. Find out more and take advantage of our latest offers at: https://pocketmags.com/family-tree-magazine/issues

(With thanks to Helen Tovey and Lauren Freeman)


NB: The current edition of Family Tree includes my masterclass article on parish registers from the UK, Ireland, and the British diaspora.

Chris

You can pre-order my new book, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scottish2 (out April). Also available, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Irish1 and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scotland1. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Monday, 30 March 2020

How to obtain WDYTYA? magazine from home

You may not find it so easy just now to go out an buy your favourite genealogy magazines in the UK. I've just received an email from the team at Who Do You Think You Are? magazine advising on ways that you can do so, without having to visit the shops just now.

If you want a copy of the April issue, still on sale for another week, you can order it via MagsDirect: https://magsdirect.co.uk/magazine/who-do-you-think-you-are-apr-20-163/

It’s exactly the same price as it is on the newsstand with free delivery and if you order before midday you should get next day delivery.

WDYTYA is also launching a way of ordering just three issues (starting with the June issue) with a cash payment of just £13.39. This is ideal for those of you who don’t want the commitment of a direct debit subscription: https://www.buysubscriptions.com/print/who-do-you-think-you-are-magazine-subscription

Hopefully this should help!

NB: In the current April issue you will find my feature on how to do family history on a budget, which may also be a timely help!


Chris

You can pre-order my new book, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scottish2 (out April). Also available, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Irish1 and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scotland1. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

TheGenealogist releases Essex tithe maps

From TheGenealogist (www.thegenealogist.co.uk):

Changing times in the latest map release from TheGenealogist

TheGenealogist has released the Colour Tithe Maps for Essex with full integration with its MapExplorer™. This release allows us to see the area in West Ham, Essex on which the ExCel centre now stands and to discover the changes from Victorian pasture land, to dock complex then Exhibition venue and now to the Nightingale Hospital as the Covid-19 emergency builds.

This versatile tool can give the family history researcher a fantastic insight into what our ancestors’ city, town or village looked like over a number of periods and can also help them to find an ancestor’s property. With the addition of georeferenced Colour Tithe Maps. TheGenealogist has also today released colour tithe maps for Essex – you can search these as normal or browse them on Map Explorer™.

Joining the georeferenced Lloyd George Data Layer, Headstones and War Memorials, the Colour Tithe Maps are an important enhancement of the ever-expanding Map Explorer™.
  • The Map Explorer™ displays maps for historical periods up to the modern day.
  • Colour Tithe maps bring the early Victorian era to this innovative tool
  • Plots on the maps are linked to the apportionment books, enabling researchers to locate where their ancestors lived or worked

TheGenealogist has linked these highly detailed Tithe maps to the apportionment book records so providing researchers with the details of the plots, their owners and their occupiers at the time of the early Victorian survey. The coverage ranges from large estate owners to ordinary people occupying small plots such as a homestead or a cottage. Colour Tithe Maps make it easier for the researcher to understand the terrain as the streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, houses and trees are often highlighted in different colours.

TheGenealogist’s Colour Tithe Maps now cover the counties of Buckinghamshire, Cumberland, Huntingdonshire, Middlesex, Northumberland, Rutland, Surrey, Westmorland, the City, North and East Ridings of Yorkshire along with the new addition this week of Essex.

Subscribers to TheGenealogist’s Diamond membership can now view the latest colour or grayscale maps when using the Tithe & Landowner records.

TheGenealogist’s powerful Map Explorer™ has been developed to view these georeferenced historic maps overlaid on top of modern background maps including those from Ordnance Survey and Bing Street maps, as well as a satellite view. With the Map Explorer™, you can search for an ancestor's property, discovering its site, even if the road has changed or is no longer there.

Alternatively, using the Master Search on TheGenealogist, having found your forebear listed in the Tithe Records you can click through to the Map Explorer™ which will also show War Memorials or cemeteries on the various maps.

Read TheGenealogist’s article here:
https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2020/essex-tithe-maps-reveal-ever-changing-landscape-1239/


(With thanks to Nick Thorne)

Chris

You can pre-order my new book, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scottish2 (out April). Also available, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Irish1 and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scotland1. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Scottish GENES - weekly digest

It's been another downer of a week worldwide on the coronavirus front, with some genealogy developments included, but there are some other more positive stories also - I certainly think this has been my busiest week ever on the blogging front.

If you missed them during the week, here are the latest posts from Scottish GENES (https://scottishgenes.blogspot.com):


If you write genealogy content you should consider registering with the ALCS
https://scottishgenes.blogspot.com/2020/03/if-you-write-genealogy-content-you.html

Free access to MyHeritage in Color until April 23rd
https://scottishgenes.blogspot.com/2020/03/free-access-to-myheritage-in-color.html

Have you used... the Scottish Mining Website?
https://scottishgenes.blogspot.com/2020/03/have-you-used-scottish-mining-website.html

PRIMER: How do I research my Scottish family history?
https://scottishgenes.blogspot.com/2020/03/primer-how-do-i-research-my-scottish.html

Northern Ireland's PRONI archive suspends enquiries service
https://scottishgenes.blogspot.com/2020/03/northern-irelands-proni-archive.html

The Genealogy Show 2020 in Birmingham cancelled
https://scottishgenes.blogspot.com/2020/03/the-genealogy-show-2020-in-birmingham.html

Ancestry provides free access to nearly 500m US National Archives Records
https://scottishgenes.blogspot.com/2020/03/ancestrys-response-to-coronavirus-crisis.html

Ancestry adds Newgate calendars and Household Cavalry records
https://scottishgenes.blogspot.com/2020/03/ancestry-adds-newgate-calendars-and.html

Next Scotland 1750-1850 - Beyond the OPRs course starts May 4th
https://scottishgenes.blogspot.com/2020/03/next-scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs.html

Suspension of UK birth registration and other services
https://scottishgenes.blogspot.com/2020/03/suspension-of-uk-birth-registration-and.html

County Kerry records added to RootsIreland
https://scottishgenes.blogspot.com/2020/03/county-kerry-records-added-to.html

Highland Archives urges people to record diaries during pandemic
https://scottishgenes.blogspot.com/2020/03/highland-archives-urges-people-to.html

FindmyPast adds records for Kilmarnock in Ayrshire
https://scottishgenes.blogspot.com/2020/03/findmypast-adds-records-for-kilmarnock.html

WDYTYA Magazine's weekly Transcription Tuesday events
https://scottishgenes.blogspot.com/2020/03/wdytya-magazines-weekly-transcription.html

Latest additions to the British Newspaper Archive
https://scottishgenes.blogspot.com/2020/03/latest-additions-to-british-newspaper.html

Canada's BIFHSGO Conference in September postponed
https://scottishgenes.blogspot.com/2020/03/canadas-bifhsgo-conference-in-september.html

Have you used... Tobar an Dualchais?
https://scottishgenes.blogspot.com/2020/03/have-you-used-tobar-dualchais.html

FamilySearch cannot expand access to restricted records
https://scottishgenes.blogspot.com/2020/03/familysearch-cannot-expand-records.html

Free access to U.S. Census records on MyHeritage
https://scottishgenes.blogspot.com/2020/03/free-access-to-us-census-records-on.html

Chris

You can pre-order my new book, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scottish2 (out April). Also available, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Irish1 and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scotland1. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Free access to U.S. Census records on MyHeritage

From MyHeritage (www.myheritage.com):

The 2020 U.S Census is currently underway and households across America are already responding over the internet, by phone, or by paper questionnaire.

To mark this once-a-decade milestone, searching and viewing all of our U.S. census collections is completely free from March 29th until April 5th, 2020.

U.S. Censuses have been taken every ten years since the very first U.S. Census in 1790, after the end of the American Revolution. There have been 22 federal censuses since then.
What can census records reveal about your family?

Census records contain valuable information just waiting to be discovered. They provide a unique view into the lives of your ancestors at the time of the census, making them a basic foundation of family history research.

Each record typically includes details such as the names of household members, ages, places of birth, residence, occupation, immigration, citizenship details, marriage information, military service and more. Some older U.S. censuses recorded religious affiliation as well.

Census records can reveal information about the daily lives of your ancestors that can be added to your family tree. By comparing multiple censuses, you can trace your family over the years, and often from location to location throughout the country.

Census records can also lead to new connections and relatives. You may be searching for one ancestor and discover additional family members or friends living in the same household whom you knew nothing about.

With over 700 million records from 54 collections in total — 18 federal census collections and 36 state or country census collections — you’re bound to make some fascinating family history discoveries among our U.S. census records.

We hope you enjoy searching these collections free of charge, and that it enhances your family history research.

NB: Access the records at https://www.myheritage.com/research/category-1100/us-census

(With thanks to Daniel Horowitz)


Chris

You can pre-order my new book, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scottish2 (out April). Also available, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Irish1 and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scotland1. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.