Wednesday, 14 April 2021

North of Ireland FHS announces Family Memories writing competition

From the North of Ireland Family History Society (www.nifhs.org):

The North of Ireland Family History Society (NIFHS) is inviting people around the world to take part in their 2021 writing competition that has a theme of “Family Memories”. There is a chance to win one of three cash prizes and you may get your story published. The closing date is Friday 28th May 2021 so there is plenty of time to gather your story together.  

Adding memories can bring a family tree to life and helps to preserve stories for future generations. You can use your own personal memories or those of a relative. Stories can be pieced together from interviews, old family photos, letters and other documents or heirlooms.

The winner will receive £100, with runners-up receiving £60 and £40. The results will be announced in September 2021. Many previous entries have been published in the Society’s journal, North Irish Roots. The competition is open to members of the Society worldwide - membership for overseas residents is £18 for 2021 and currently allows attendance at about 10 online meetings a month across our branch network, alongside other benefits such as a look-up service.

More information and the competition rules can be found on the NIFHS website: www.nifhs.org/resources/biennial-competition/#fmc

(With thanks to Maeve Rogan)

Chris

Just out, Sharing Your Family History Online is on sale at https://bit.ly/SharingFamHist. Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scottish2 is also out, as are 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.

ScotlandsPeople Centre re-opening plans

The following announcement comes form the ScotlandsPeople Centre (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk), concerning its re-opening plans from May 4th, and how to book seats:

The Dundas Search Room in the ScotlandsPeople Centre will reopen on Tuesday 4th May with the restricted service outlined below. Please note that we will not be open for routine visitors.

In order to access the Dundas ScotlandsPeople search room you need to follow directional signage to this search room through the Archivists’ Garden area, which is located behind General Register House.

To ensure that our search rooms are safe for staff and visitors, we have made a variety of changes to our service provision and they are summarised below together with our amended day search charge. It is not possible, at this time, to offer season tickets for purchase, in recognition of the limited number of available seats and restricted opening hours which are now in place.

- You must comply with our NRS Safe Visit Agreement
- In order to maintain social distancing and increase ventilation within our search room we have reduced the available search room seats to a total of 9.
- Initially, seat bookings are only available for those customers who require access for business purposes and only one visit per customer/company per week will be offered. If bookings are not full, remaining seats will be offered for booking from the preceding Wednesday at 12 noon on a rotational basis to those customers/companies who have requested more than one seat per week.
- You may only visit the Dundas ScotlandsPeople search room for a maximum period of 4 hours in total.
- Our day search fee charge has been reduced to £7.50 to reflect the fact that the maximum search period is 4 hours. No season tickets are being offered at this time due to the restricted service.
- The opening hours are 10:00 to 15:00 to allow for staggered arrivals and departures.
- To ensure that social distancing is maintained, you will not be offered access to printers or in turn prints during your search room visit and neither is an onsite scanning service available so it will not be possible to remedy any poor images encountered during your visit. Also, no access to any form of microfilm or microfiche will be offered.
- We are complying with the NHS Test and Protect system and will hold contact details to share with the NHS Tracer for a maximum period of 21 days.

Please do not visit us unless you have received an email confirming your booking and that we have received payment for your search room seat. We are not open for routine visitors.


ScotlandsPeople Centre - Dundas search room

The ScotlandsPeople Centre is the official government resource for family history research. It is located in central Edinburgh in New Register House.

Our seat booking system is, at this stage, only available to customers or companies that have a business need to view the ScotlandsPeople records. If you want to book a search room seat then please contact us through the ScotlandsPeople website following the procedures below:

- Register on ScotlandsPeople (this is free). If already a registered customer then simply login.
- Contact us and select the ‘Seat Bookings’ category. Please confirm why you require access to the Dundas search room, your preferred day and provide two other days in case there is no availability for the day selected.
- We will email you to confirm which day has been provisionally booked and send you a link to a web page where payment of £7.50 will require to be made. All seats must be paid for in advance before your booking can be finalised. All payments must be made ahead of the day of your visit and at least 72 hours in advance.
- A confirmation email with the booking reference will be sent to you once the booking has been paid and finalised. You will need to provide details of your seat booking reference and your name before you will be allowed to take your seat in the Dundas search room.

(Original announcement at https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/visit-us and via email)


Chris

Just out, Sharing Your Family History Online is on sale at https://bit.ly/SharingFamHist. Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scottish2 is also out, as are 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, 11 April 2021

"It's a Sair Fecht!" - 31st SAFHS annual conference

Next Saturday sees the annual Scottish Association of Family History Societies (www.safhs.org.uk) conference:

The 31st SAFHS Annual Delegate Conference - "It's a Sair Fecht!"
jointly hosted by
ASGRA, Borders FHS, Lothians FHS, Scottish Genealogy Society

A series of presentations on a range of topics of interest to genealogists and family historians will be broadcast throughout the day on Saturday 17th April 2021.

The talks cover the following topics:

  • The Radical Rising of 1820 by Alex Wood, ASGRA
  • Lanarkshire Family History Society by Bob Stewart, Chairman Lanarkshire FHS
  • The Highland Archive Service: Collections and Resources by Lorna Steele
  • ‘Ae Fond Kiss and then we sever’ by Kirsty Wilkinson, ASGRA
  • Aspects of Mining in Scotland by James Waugh
  • Asylum Records for Genealogy by Louise Williams
  • The Men and (eventually) the Women of the Police of the Scottish Borders by David Smale
  • Understanding Kirk Session Records by Emma Maxwell, Scottish Indexes


Each event during the day will have been pre-recorded with a live opportunity to put questions to the presenters following their presentations.

Tay Valley Family History Society will also preview the 2022 SAFHS Conference.

The Conference day will commence at 9am and continue until 5pm and will be available on the day via Facebook to members of the SAFHS Conference Facebook

For further details, and to register, visit https://www.safhs.org.uk/conference.php

Chris

Just out, Sharing Your Family History Online is on sale at https://bit.ly/SharingFamHist. Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scottish2 is also out, as are 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.

Saturday, 10 April 2021

Historic Environment Scotland archives to re-open from April 27th

From Historic Environment Scotland (www.historicenvironment.scot), news that it will re-opening from April 27th:

We're delighted to welcome you back to the HES Archive and Library from Tuesday 27 April.

We will be providing a limited service for visitors who need access to original material for their research. To help keep everyone safe, we have introduced some changes, including:

- our reduced opening hours are 11am until 3pm, Tuesday to Friday
- visitors must pre-book their visit five working days in advance
- all the material you want to research, including books and photographs, must be requested in advance so that we can ensure appropriate quarantining

Pre-booking via archives@hes.scot is essential. Please do not travel if you have not made an appointment.

HES Archives Coronavirus Visitor Charter

Before your visit, please read and agree to our Coronavirus Visitor Charter to do your bit to help us ensure everyone’s safety.

As a visitor to HES Search Room, we ask you to:

- pre-book your visit at least five working days in advance
- only travel to John Sinclair House after receiving confirmation of your booking
- request the material you want to consult in advance, including any material normally on open access, such as books
- delay your visit if you are experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms
- respect the Government guidance on physical distancing and hygiene, including wearing a face covering unless you have a legitimate reason not to do so
- observe the safety measures that we have put in place
- be patient and polite with our staff while you visit, and understand our services are limited at this time
- notify us in advance, where possible, if you are delayed or unable to visit

Further details at https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/hes-archives-and-library/

(With thanks to Andrew Nicoll)

Chris

Just out, Sharing Your Family History Online is on sale at https://bit.ly/SharingFamHist. Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scottish2 is also out, as are 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.

Friday, 9 April 2021

Glasgow's Mitchell Library to re-open from April 27th

Glasgow Life has released a statement to say that many of its libraries, museums and cultural facilities will re-open again soon. Amongst these is the Mitchell Library, tentatively slated to re-open on April 27th. For further details visit https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-latest-information

There are no further details yet about how Glasgow City Archives will re-open within the Mitchell, nor anything from the registrar's service, but I will obviously iupdate if and when I hear more!

Chris

Just out, Sharing Your Family History Online is on sale at https://bit.ly/SharingFamHist. Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scottish2 is also out, as are 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.

FindmyPast updates UK electoral register and Companies House Directors lists

FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk) has updated the following collection:

UK Electoral Registers & Companies House Directors
These publicly-available modern records are perfect for tracing long lost relatives or house history. We’ve added another 2.9 million entries. Provided by 192.com, the records include names, addresses and other details of the UK electorate from 2002 right up to the present day. Business directors also feature. 

For the relevant link and other releases this week, visit https://www.findmypast.co.uk/blog/new/victualler-records

Chris

Just out, Sharing Your Family History Online is on sale at https://bit.ly/SharingFamHist. Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scottish2 is also out, as are 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.

NRS to offer limited access to ScotlandsPeople Centre and Historic Search Room

After more than a year of closure, the National Records of Scotland (www.nrscotland.gov.uk) has announced that it intends to offer a limited on-site service from April 26th and May 4th respiectively. The following is the announcement:

Search rooms at National Records of Scotland (NRS) will reopen on a limited basis from 26th April, in line with Scottish Government guidance.

The Historical Search Room will reopen on Monday 26th April, with priority given to users requiring access to our archives to complete academic research.

The ScotlandsPeople Centre will reopen on Tuesday 4th May, with priority given to users who have a business need to access modern day statutory records.

Spaces to both search rooms will be limited and available by appointment only.

Appointments will be available for 4 hour slots from 10am with staggered arrivals and departures.

Paul Lowe, Chief Executive and Keeper of the Records of Scotland said:

“We are delighted to welcome customers back to our search rooms, and we hope that this news will be particularly welcomed by those eager to progress research that has been affected by the pandemic.

“Our commitment is to the safety and wellbeing of customers and staff. To ensure the search rooms have the necessary entry and exit routes and the required ventilation, we have moved the Historical Search Room to the Reid room in General Register House.

“We have also developed a safe visit agreement which includes a range of measures to ensure the safety of our customers and staff.

“In the coming months, in line with Scottish Government guidance, we look forward to further expanding our onsite provision of services.

“For those who are unable to access on-site services at this time, our online research services continue to be available including the ScotlandsPeople service, which assists with researching family, local and social history. During the pandemic we have continued to expand the range of online material available, including our newly released kirk session records which alone contain thousands of volumes detailing key events in local communities across the country from 1559 to 1900.”

(Original announcement at https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/news/2021/on-site-services-to-reopen)

Further note on the ScotlandsPeople Centre:

The Dundas Search Room in ScotlandsPeople Centre will reopen on Tuesday 4th May. Initial access will be given to those with a business need to access modern day statutory records, for example professional genealogists. Those who meet the criteria for the initial phase of access to the ScotlandsPeople Search Room, should contact customerservices@scotlandspeople.gov.uk for further information.

(Source: https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/about-us/service-status)

 

COMMENT: I called the Burns Monument Centre in Kilmarnock to seek an update, but it has no plans to re-open just yet. I have placed a request for a booking in Edinburgh, but would advise clients that this is likely to be a slow getting back to normal, so one step at a time! But it's great to see things finally moving again after a difficult year.

Chris

Just out, Sharing Your Family History Online is on sale at https://bit.ly/SharingFamHist. Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scottish2 is also out, as are 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, 6 April 2021

Scottish Indexes host tenth conference event on May 22nd 2021

From Scottish Indexes (www.scottishindexes.com):

Learn How to Trace Your Family History - Scottish Indexes Conference - 22 May 2021

[Glasgow, Scotland 5 April 2021]  When the pandemic struck in 2020 and Scottish archives closed their doors, Scottish based scottishindexes.com immediately started hosting free online conferences to teach people how to trace their Scottish family tree and provide much-needed interaction for people stuck at home. Regarding these conferences, one attendee said, “Thank you very much for another great conference. They really are a bright spot in these days, weeks, months spent at home.” The 10th conference in this series will be held on 22 May 2021 on Zoom and Facebook.

During this 16-hour event, we will hear from many experts, including genealogist and author Chris Paton who will present, ‘Genealogy Without Borders’. Genealogist Kate Keter will present, ‘Mother dead, Father in prison’, which will tell how a single entry in a school admission register led to uncovering the stories of three generations of one family. Genealogist Andrew Armstong will present, ‘Patterns of Migration in the Scottish Textiles Industries 1750-1950’.

Following the March 2021 Scottish Indexes Conference, one attendee wrote, “Congratulations and thanks for the great program today. The level of expertise and information is wonderful for those of us who have been active in genealogical research for many years.” 

More news on the conference soon from www.scottishindexes.com!

Chris

Just out, Sharing Your Family History Online is on sale at https://bit.ly/SharingFamHist. Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scottish2 is also out, as are 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.

Highland Archive Service facilities re-opening update

From the Highland Archive Service (www.highlifehighland.com/archives-service/):

We are pleased to announce that Highland Archive Service facilities in Inverness, Portree and Fort William will be reopening to the public from the 27th of April.

Nucleus: The Nuclear and Caithness Archive remains temporarily closed until further notice, however the staff are able to provide assistance remotely.

Summary of our updated procedures;

We will be operating a booking system with slots between 10.00am – 12.30pm and 2.00pm – 4.30pm. This will be reviewed regularly, and changes made accordingly.
- Highland Archive Centre (Inverness) – Tuesday and Thursday
- Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre (Portree) – Tuesday and Thursday
- Lochaber Archive Centre (Fort William) – Fridays

You must make an appointment and pre-order all documents before visiting. Please do this a week in advance to ensure that the documents you require are available.
We can provide access to original archive documents, PCs, microfiche and microfiche readers and reference books. Access to ScotlandsPeople is not yet available.
You must wear a face covering whilst in our buildings (exceptions accepted)
Physical distancing and hand sanitising stations will be in place throughout our buildings.
The buildings will close over lunchtime (12.30-2.00) to allow for enhanced cleaning of public areas.

Please note that, in line with Scottish Government guidance, we will retain your name and contact details for use in Test and Protect for 21 days.

For further details visit https://www.highlifehighland.com/archives-service/covid-19-archive-updates/

Chris

Just out, Sharing Your Family History Online is on sale at https://bit.ly/SharingFamHist. Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scottish2 is also out, as are 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.

Battle of Bonnymuir 1820 memorial unveiled

If your ancestors were handloom weavers in Scotland, you may be interested to learn that a memorial has been unveiled to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bonnymuir, which was actually last year, but for which Covid restrictions prevented a ceremony.  For further details, see https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-56649785; for the battle itself, see the National Library of Scotland's page at https://digital.nls.uk/scotlandspages/timeline/1820.html.

The Battle of Bonnymuir was an action that took place during the Radical War in 1820, in which reform was demanded by many in the artisan sector, including weavers and others within the crafts sector. You can read more about it at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radical_War.

Chris

Just out, Sharing Your Family History Online is on sale at https://bit.ly/SharingFamHist. Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scottish2 is also out, as are 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.