Friday, 30 April 2021

TheGenealogist adds Index of Irish Wills 1484-1858

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

TheGenealogist adds over 100,000 names to its Irish Will Indexes

TheGenealogist’s Index of Irish Wills 1484-1858 is an index to surviving records of Wills, Grants and Administrations, held by The National Archives of Ireland (NAI). Records include the original NAI reference, which can be used to order a copy of the existing document.

This new release adds an easily searched and useful resource to the ever growing suite of records available to Diamond subscribers of TheGenealogist. The Index of Irish Wills 1484-1858 features:

●    More than 100,000 names
●    Easily Searchable by Name, County, Address and Keyword
●    Can provide dates, occupation, status and place of abode
●    Can provide reference and link to order the document from the National Archives of Ireland.

Prior to 1858, Irish wills were administered by the ecclesiastical courts of the Established church, (the Church of Ireland), a part of the Anglican communion. In 1857, however, the Church of Ireland lost its responsibility for Irish Wills when the Probate Act of that year transferred the supervision to the state.

Read TheGenealogist’s article: Using Irish Wills to discover your ancestors
https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2021/using-the-index-of-irish-wills-1484-1858-to-discover-more-about-ancestors-important-details-1406/

(With thanks to Nick Thorne) 

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.

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Antrim and Newtownabbey Council's new free burials database

Thanks to Claire Santry for flagging up that the new free burials database from Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council is finally now live (in test phase) at https://antrimandnewtownabbey.gov.uk/residents/cemeteries/. I tweeted just over a month ago that I was looking forward to this being released, following an article in the Newtownabbey Times published on February 5th (See https://www.newtownabbeytoday.co.uk/news/politics/council/online-burial-search-initiative-antrim-and-newtownabbey-council-3125265).

The cemeteries included are in the following areas:

  • Antrim
  • Ballyclare
  • Belmont         
  • Carnmoney (Main and East)
  • Crumlin
  • Mallusk
  • Sixmile
  • Rashee Cemetery
  • Umgall

Burial grounds not included:

  • Cranfield
  • Drummaul
  • Kilbride
  • Milltown
  • Muckamore
  • Templepatrick

Let's just say I may not get a lot of work done today! (I have lots of folk in Carnmoney!)

(With thanks to Claire Santry at https://www.irishgenealogynews.com/2021/04/new-free-burials-database-for-antrim.html)

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.

Scottish Indexes adds Poor Relief Records indexes

From Scottish Indexes (www.scottishindexes.com): 

Scottish Poor Relief Records

Delighted to announce a new addition to our website today - Scottish Poor Relief Records

When our ancestors fell on hard times they relied on family and friends to help them. When they couldn’t be cared for by those they knew they turned to the parish, or in later years the parochial board.

The records created are full of fascinating details and genealogy gems, telling us not just names, dates and places, but the stories of some of the most challenging days in the lives of our ancestors.

Today we have added selected records from Wigtownshire, Roxburghshire and Peeblesshire and as always these are free to search.

Search for your ancestors: https://www.scottishindexes.com/poorsearch.aspx

(With thanks to Emma Maxwell)

NB: Incidentally, thanks to Jack Davis via the Scottish Genealogy Network for advising that Glasgow City Archives, which re-opened on Tuesday, is currently permitting the use of mobile phones to photograph documents such as poor law records whilst the pandemic restrictions are in place.

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.

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Free access to British census records on FindmyPast this weekend

From FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk):

All UK census records are free this weekend

All of Findmypast’s British census records (1841-1911) are completely free to access from 10:00 (BST) on 30 April until 3 May. Amazing snapshots of the past, census records can help you trace your family tree, generation by generation.

You can gain access via https://www.findmypast.co.uk/page/free-access


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, 27 April 2021

More on the Scottish Indexes conference on May 22nd

An update from the team on the forthcoming Scottish Indexes (www.scottishindexes.com) conference, the tenth, to be held on May 22nd:

Registration Instructions

Facebook: This is an easy way to watch and interact with the presenters and attendees of the Scottish Indexes Conference. It is also possible to cast the conference to a TV which makes viewing more comfortable. Click here to join the Scottish Indexes Facebook Group.

Zoom: Many of us are now more familiar with Zoom than we were last April when we held our first conference. We have now expanded our package so there is plenty of capacity if you would prefer to watch on Zoom. Click here to register on Zoom.

Our Presenters

Kate Keter: Genealogist at www.familytreetales.co.uk
Presentation: "Mother dead, Father in prison"

In this presentation Kate will tell how a single entry in a school admission register led to uncovering stories of 3 generations of one family in sources from workhouses, prisons, passenger lists and British Home Children, to name just a few, from Scotland, England, Canada and USA.

Kate has been researching family trees for over 30 years and now works as a professional genealogist based in Linlithgow. She has an MSc in Genealogical, Palaeographical and Heraldic Studies from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow where she is now a tutor on the Family History Research short courses. Kate is an accredited member of the Association of Scottish Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (ASGRA).

 

Andrew Armstong: Genealogist at Relatively Scottish
Presentation: "Patterns of Migration in the Scottish Textiles Industries 1750-1950"

Andrew has been working as a professional genealogist since 2015 in the Scottish Borders. He has a postgraduate diploma in Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldic Studies from the University of Strathclyde. He has presented on the Records of the Kelso Dispensary and Using Buccleuch Estate records at previous Scottish indexes Conferences. Andrew is accredited on the Register of Qualified Genealogists (RQG).

 

Chris Paton: Genealogist at Scotland’s Greatest Story
Presentation: "Genealogy Without Borders"

Northern Irish born Chris Paton lives today in Ayrshire, Scotland, where he works as a genealogist through his Scotland’s Greatest Story service. A holder of a Postgraduate Diploma in Genealogical Studies from the University of Strathclyde, Chris is author of 'Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd edition)', 'Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records' and 'Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records', and also writes a daily genealogy blog, Scottish GENES. As well as regularly lecturing on Irish and Scottish subjects, Chris also runs courses for Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd.

 

And I have just noticed archivist Margaret Fox (@mf6060) tweeting the following:

Want to hear a poignant story of a young woman from Ayr being transported to Australia in 1847 for killing her baby? Then sign up for the next @scottishindexes online conference on 22 May (it's free!)

There's plenty more yet to be announced, it should be another fun day!

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.

We’re looking forward to the 10th Scottish Indexes Conference. If you are joining us for the first time, here’s how it works. We start at 7 am UK time and keep going until 11 pm UK time. We do this to make our conferences time-zone friendly. Each presentation is shown twice, once between 7 am and 3 pm, then again between 3 pm and 11 pm. You can come and go throughout the day.

Glasgow City Archives re-opens

Good news for our Glaswegian contingent! Glasgow City Archives (www.glasgowlife.org.uk/libraries/city-archives) has re-opened, albeit on a restricted basis for now. From the archive to me, via Twitter:

We're re-opening today and will be open Tue-Thu (11am-3pm) by appointment. If you'd like to request an appointment, please read our FAQs and send the linked Booking Form to archives@glasgowlife.org.uk. The FAQs are at https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/media/6787/20201104-archives-faqs-final-updated.pdf

 

Good to see us finally getting back to normal - I even had a pint last night at my local pub for the first time in seven months!

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, 25 April 2021

Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers course starts on May 3rd

My next Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers course kicks off on May 3rd 2021 for a further five week run. If you're looking for a way to learn a little bit more each week about your favourite subject, why not sign up?!  

Here's the description:

This is an intermediate level course in Scottish family history for those who are going back beyond 1850. You should have some experience with research in the Old Parochial Registers (OPRs) of the Church of Scotland and in using major websites for Scottish research. This course discusses sources that fill the gap when the OPRs are uninformative or missing; for example, records of parish and town administration, occupations, land transfer and taxation. Using these records involves several different locations. You will learn how to check online finding aids and how to find the most effective way to obtain records that may be available online or offline. This is the second course on Scottish research. If you have not taken Scottish Research Online please check its description.

Lesson Headings:

* Kirk Sessions records and parish poor
* Burgh records and town poor
* Occupations, taxation and early lists
* Land transfer and the value of sasines
* Land, inheritance and estates

Each lesson includes exercises and activities; a minimum of 1 one-hour chat session per week. (See How the Courses Work at https://www.pharostutors.com/howcourseswork.php.)

STUDENTS SAID: "well structured chats with opportunities for questions as well"

Relevant Countries: Scotland
Course Length: 5 Weeks
Start Date: 4 May 2020
Cost: £49.99

The following video also gives a bit more of a flavour about what to expect:



(Available also at https://youtu.be/1vX6GZtwZJ0)

For further details, and to sign up, please visit https://www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=302.

Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers has been designed as a follow on course from the Scottish Research Online course, although it can certainly be signed up for if you already have the same level of knowledge as given from the earlier course.

I'll hopefully see you there! 

Chris

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, 23 April 2021

FindmyPast adds military records and reintroduces census address search

New additions this week from FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk):

New and improved census address search
You can now discover a house in all UK census records with one quick search. Only available at Findmypast, address search is now easier to find, more intuitive and includes enhanced features like name variants and radius settings. See https://www.findmypast.co.uk/blog/help/1911-census-address-search-reintroduced-to-findmypast. (Note for Scotland FMP has transcripts up to 1901 only)

British Army, Royal Engineers 1900-1949
The first phase of this new release sees over 92,000 tracer cards, mostly from World War 2, published online for the first time. Tracer cards track a soldier's movement within and between regiments. The records can reveal names, army numbers and dates of birth and enlistment, all useful detail for fleshing out your family tree. Surnames from A-H are included in this first release.

British Army, Coldstream Guards 1800-1947 Image Browse
Now available to browse page-by-page, delve into a range of different records to uncover details of those who served in this famous regiment.

The collection includes:

    Casualties 1939-1947
    Courts Martials 1800-1815
    Decorations and Rewards 1914-1918 and 1939-1948
    Discharges 1884-1947
    Enlistments 1884-1947
    Missing in Action 1939-1945
    Nominal Roll of 1st Battalion men serving in Sudan 1932-1933
    Officers’ Record of Services 1861-1915
    Shanghai Defence Force 1927-1928
    South African Campaign 1899-1902
    Succession Book of 2nd Battalion officers 1797-1926
    Succession Book of Officers 1826-1936
    Record of Campaigns 1854-1895

For further details, and relevant links, visit https://www.findmypast.co.uk/blog/new/wartime-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.

Thursday, 22 April 2021

Commonwealth War Graves Commission accepts findings of 'pervasive racism' in historic burials practice

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (www.cwgc.org) has apologised for 'prevasive racism' in its historic burials practice by its predecessor, the Imperial War Graves Commission, with regards to black and Asian personnel who served on the side of the British Empire, following an inquiry set up by it in the aftermath of a Channel 4 documentary which first revealed the organisation's failings in 2019. 

From the report, available at https://www.cwgc.org/media/noantj4i/report-of-the-special-committee-to-review-historical-inequalities-in-commemoration.pdf

The evidence recorded here provides a preliminary exploration of cases of unequal commemoration and non-commemoration, and the IWGC’s role in bringing them about. It demonstrates that diver-gences from the organisation’s principles exist outside of Europe and across its estate, principally falling into two categories:

• In the first instance, it is estimated that between 45,000 and 54,000 casualties are or were commemorated differently across East Africa, West Africa, Egypt and the Middle East – usually collectively via memorials when some might have had marked burials, or by recording the names of the dead in registers rather than engraving them in stone.

• In  the  second  instance,  it  is  estimated  that  at  least  116,000,  but  potentially  as  many  as  350,000, casualties may not be commemorated by name or may not be commemorated at all, primarily across East Africa and Egypt.

Both issues are the result of decisions owned by the IWGC, albeit decisions influenced by a scarcity of information, errors inherited from other organisations and the opinions of colonial administra-tors. Underpinning all these decisions, however, were the entrenched prejudices, preconceptions and pervasive racism of contemporary imperial attitudes.

 

The following is the inquiry's statement on its findings:

PUBLICATION OF REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON HISTORICAL CASES OF NON-COMMEMORATION

A report by a Special Committee, established by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in December 2019, has concluded that 116,000 casualties of the First World War were not commemorated by name or possibly not commemorated at all outside the European theatre of war.  

That figure could be as high as 350,000 and the Committee’s report has found that between 45,000 and 54,000 additional casualties were also commemorated unequally. The report provides ten far-reaching recommendations for action by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), in light of its findings.

Highlighting the complex situation on the ground, during and after the war, the report makes clear that there were several contributing factors. These ranged from the legacy of poorly marked wartime burials andthe treatment of some groups by the military authorities, to the actions and demands of colonial administrations and the impact of contemporary imperial attitudes on Imperial War Graves Commission decision-making. However, despite the many practical complexities involved, the Special Committee is unambiguous and uncompromising in its findings on the role of the Imperial War Graves Commission.

The Special Committee, chaired by Sir Tim Hitchens, Commonwealth War Graves Commissioner and President of Wolfson College Oxford, says that: “Though there were clearly unique challenges and difficulties faced on some of the battlefields outside of Europe,  there is also evidence that manycasualties in these regions were denied named commemoration where it was possible, and somewere deliberately treated differently. In short, these men were deprived of the equality in death promised by the Imperial War Graves Commission and of the opportunity for their story to be told”.

CWGC’s predecessor organisation, the Imperial War Graves Commission, included in its founding principles a commitment to equal commemoration for all in death, regardless of their rank or religion in life. In light of the inconsistency between the report’s findings and those principles, the Committee concludes that “more than a century since this work began, it is time to put right the mistakes and bad decisions of the past.

”The Committee’s Chair, Sir Tim Hitchens, said:“I would like to thank all those who gave their time, energy and expertise to the important work of the Special Committee. The Committee has gone about its work with the utmost professionalism and diligence, providing a comprehensive set of recommendations for action”.   

He continued: “The implementation of our recommendations would start to put right the wrongs of the past and we know that the Commission will consider them very seriously, as it continues on a mission as important today as it was a century ago. Our report is designed to provide a clear roadmap for tackling these important issues and building on its many remarkable successes.” 

 

And the CWGC's response:

COMMONWEALTH WAR GRAVES COMMISSION ACCEPTS SPECIAL COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS IN FULL

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (the Commission) has today welcomed the report produced by a Special Committee formed to review historical cases of non-c ommemoration and committed to implement the Committee’s ten detailed recommendations in full.

The Commission established the Special Committee in December 2019, following a Channel 4 Documentary Unremembered – Britain’s Forgotten War Heroes – first broadcast in November 2019. The Committee’s mandate – agreed by the Commission’s six member Governments – was to produce a report on the commemoration by name of all Empire war dead of the two World Wars, identify gaps in that commemoration and propose how any such gaps could be rectified.

The report finds that 116,000, and potentially as many as 350,000, of those who died while serving the forces of the then British Empire during the First World War remain unmemorialised, a century after their passing. The vast majority were of African, Indian or Egyptian origin. Of those who were commemorated, up to 54,000 individuals were deliberately commemorated differently fromEuropean combatants. This was in direct contravention of the core principle of equality of treatment in death, on which the original Imperial War Graves Commission (IWGC) was founded.

Publishing the Commission’s official response to the Committee’s report, Director General, Claire Horton, CBE, said: “The Committee has produced an excellent report, which pulls no punches. Our response today is simple: the events of a Century ago were wrong then and are wrong now. We are sorry for what happened and will act to right the wrongs of the past. We welcome the Committee’s findings and embrace fully its detailed recommendations”.   

Ms. Horton added: “Many of the recommendations can be acted on at once, others will require further work and investigation. We are already prioritising several areas simultaneously for immediate action, building on activities already put in train over recent years to tell the stories of those who died. As we do, we will continue in our mission to live up to a promise made more than a century ago and inscribed in stone at CWGC sites around the globe: “THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE””.

In accepting fully the findings and shortcomings identified in this report – and apologising unreservedly for them – the Commission also committed itself to positive, pro-active and inclusive action, and to engaging directly with the communities affected to address the issues raised.

At the same time, the Commission renewed afresh its abiding commitment to equality for all in commemoration, in perpetuity, building on “the world-wide work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission that has for over a century, maintained a global remembrance landscape and helped shape the deeply felt values and culture of commemoration and remembrance we know today”.

Commenting on the report, the Commission’s Vice-Chairman, Lt Gen Sir Bill Rollo KCB CBE, said: “I would like to thank the Members of the Special Committee and its Chair, Sir Tim Hitchens, for this very thorough, detailed report, and its very clear recommendations.

One hundred years ago our predecessors set out a clear commitment to commemorate the First World War dead equally, by name, in a way which had never been done before. They succeeded remarkably in Europe, but as the report makes clear, they fell short in a number of other parts of the world”.

Sir Bill continued: This report will enable us to continue and, ultimately, complete our work to commemorate and recognise all those who lost their lives in this catastrophic conflict. Where names can be found they will be. Where they cannot, the Commission, working directly with the communities affected, will seek alternative means by which their memory can be properly preserved. We will also widen the search to cover both World Wars.

Above all the knowledge of what went wrong, and the need to put it right, will shape our approach to the future, arming us with a renewed determination to ensure that we fulfil the original promise to commemorate equally all who died in the two World Wars.

 

The CWGC's Director general, Claire Horton, has recorded the following message:


(Also available at https://youtu.be/f7bVvTVg_uk)

 

The CWGC has also set up a dedciated section on its website, incluiding the report and details on how it will address its findings. You can find this at https://www.cwgc.org/non-commemoration-report/.

The BBC has a story on the report at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-56840131.

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, 20 April 2021

National Library of Scotland takes bookings for Edinburgh reading rooms

From the National Library of Scotland (www.nls.uk):

Update: 20 April 2021

We have today opened the booking service for our Edinburgh reading rooms, in advance of the reading rooms reopening for limited service on 27 April.

Library card holders must prebook a seat using the online booking forms. When they arrive for their visit, they must show their booking acknowledgement email in either printed or electronic form.

We have also opened the online preordering systems for collection material. Preorders need to be made at least 24 hours before the pre-booked reading room session.

Visit our reopening information page for details of what facilities and services will be available from 27 April.

For further details visit https://www.nls.uk/reopening/. Note that "Visits are limited to one per week, due to the reduced capacity for seating and the need to ensure that as many of our readers as possible benefit from access."

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.

No 2021-2022 intake for Dundee's MLitt in Family and Local History

The University of Dundee will seemingly not be taking in any new students for its MLitt Family and Local History course (www.dundee.ac.uk/postgraduate/family-local-history) in 2021-2022. 

I've been notified about an email which was sent on behalf of Dr Murray Frame, Interim Dean at the School of Humanities, advising course tutors last night of the decision with the following explanation:

SENT ON BEHALF OF DR MURRAY FRAME, INTERIM DEAN OF THE SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES

Dear Tutors,

I am writing to inform you of the decision of the School of Humanities not to recruit a May 2021 cohort and 2021/22 cohort of Family and Local History students at the University of Dundee. This is not a decision taken lightly or without concern for potential applicants, tutors and other stakeholders.

The global pandemic has forced universities around the world to make a succession of difficult decisions and this is sadly one of them. Our plan is to suspend several taught postgraduate programmes in 2021/22 whilst we review our strategy and future provision of courses.

We will continue to support current students through to completion and those who have taken temporary withdrawal using existing staffing expertise, tutors and guidance.

If you wish to discuss this matter further or have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Dr Murray Frame

Interim Dean, School of Humanities

COMMENT: Hopefully this will be a temporary cessation of the course only. Note the last line that this announcement only concerns those who may be wishing to start the course, and that current students will continue to be supported.  

UPDATE: It would seem that there is in fact an impact on the current course intake also, with those currently studying receiving an email advising that the number of modules taught on the current course is also being reduced, limiting the choices available to those currently signed up.

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.

Monday, 19 April 2021

Kindle edition of Sharing Your Family History Online now available

The Kindle edition of my new book Sharing Your Family History Online is now available, albeit on Amazon (not yet on the Pen and Sword page). You can access it via this link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sharing-Your-Family-History-Online-ebook/dp/B092CQLZWB/

Sorry for the delay! If and when it arrives on the Pen and Sword site I'll post another update - there's usually an ePub edition available from here also. 

In the meantime, there are further details on the book, and reviews, at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Sharing-Your-Family-History-Online-Paperback/p/18718.

And a wee video introduction!


(Also available to view at https://youtu.be/aCNobUZLSqI)

I hope it helps!

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, 18 April 2021

A visit to Portpatrick - Ireland's Gretna Green

Yesterday (Saturday) was the first chance I could take a trip beyond the borders of Ayrshire in over four months, with the partial lifting of coronavirus restrictions. As such, my wife, youngest son and I went for a wee jolly down the road to Ireland's Gretna Green - the small village of Portpatrick in Dumfries and Galloway, and in historic Wigtownshire. 

Prior to 1940, it was perfectly valid to marry irregularly by the laws of Scotland by simply exchanging consent with your intended before witnesses (marriage by declaration). After Hardwicke's Act of 1753 clamped down on clandestine and irregular marriages in England and Wales, runaway couples wishing to elope simply headed north to the first Scottish place they came to - Gretna being the most famous, but equally possible at Coldstream, Lamberton Toll and other places (anywhere where someone who understood your accent could witness you saying "I do"!) For the Irish, the equivalent was to simply jump on the boat from Donaghadee in County Down, and cross the water to Portpatrick to perform a hit and run raid on the village for the same purpose, to get married there, and then to get the boat back home in time for a celebratory pie and ale at Mrs Miggins' pie shop! 

Many of the marriages so performed can be read about in Arthur Brack's 1997 publication, Irregular Marriages at Portpatrick, Wigtownshire 1759-1826: the Gretna Green for Ireland. You'll also find more about irregular mariage in Scotland in my book Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church & State Records, available from Pen and Sword at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Scottish-Ancestry-through-Church-and-State-Records-Paperback/p/16848.

So a few pics! These include the auld kirk at Portpatrick, a view to Northern Ireland, Dunskey Castle (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunskey_Castle), and some views of the harbour itself. Records concerning the village will be held by Dumfries and Galloway Archives (https://www.dumgal.gov.uk/article/15308/Local-archives), and Dumfries and Galloway FHS may also be able to assist with enquiries (https://dgfhs.org.uk/). 

Enjoy - it's well worth a trip!










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.

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.

National Library of Scotland facilities to re-open on April 27th

From the National Library of Scotland (www.nls.uk):

Update: 6 April 2021

We know our readers have missed being in the reading rooms since we closed in December — and we've missed seeing you there! The good news is that we're working towards a reopening date of Tuesday 27 April, where we will provide a limited reading room service at our George IV Bridge and Causewayside buildings in Edinburgh. On the same day, the National Library at Kelvin Hall in Glasgow will also reopen.

This is in line with the Scottish Government's advice published on 16 March, which outlines a timetable for easing restrictions. If this advice changes, we will adjust our plans to suit.

Your safety, and that of our staff, is paramount in all of our decision-making and planning. More information will be published on our website within the next few weeks, detailing safety measures in place, opening hours, booking systems for access to our reading rooms, as well as general guidelines for visitors. Anyone who visited us between August and December last year should expect much of the same.

We are really looking forward to welcoming you back to our reading rooms. In the meantime, we encourage you to check out the wealth of digital resources we have available, as well as our online workshops and events.

(Original story at https://www.nls.uk/service-disruption)

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, 2 April 2021

Free access to Ancestry over Easter

Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk) is ofering free access to its collections over easter. From the site:

This Easter Weekend
What will you discover?


With FREE access* to over 27 billion records from national and local archives worldwide, there’s so much to uncover.

*Free access ends 5 Apr 2021 at 11:59 p.m. To view these records you will need to register for free with Ancestry.co.uk with your name and email address. We will then send you a username and password to access the records. After the free access period ends, you will only be able to view the records in the featured collections using an Ancestry.co.uk paid membership.


For further details visit https://www.ancestry.co.uk/cs/free-easter.

Have fun!

(With thanks to Gerry Quinn 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.

Vaccinated

This morning I was vaccinated with the first jag of the Astrazeneca vaccine in Dreghorn, Ayrshire. A huge thank you to the Scottish Government, NHS Scotland (including specifically NHS Ayrshire and Arran), and to the boffins at Astrazeneca. Coincidentally, today Scotland moves from 'Stay at Home' regulations towards a 'Stay Local' stance.

Just seven week ago Covid-19 was listed as one of the causes of death on my father's death certificate, and so it feels a little surreal to be heading into this new vaccination era, but hopefully it means that we are now coming towards the end of this long endured nightmare. 

In Scotland, it is currently anticipated that all those aged over 16 will be vaccinated with their first jag by the middle of July, but it still looks like international travel is some way off yet - I'm certainly not anticipating leaving the country this year, with the possible exception of a trip to Ireland to see family (Ireland is part of the Common Travel Area with the UK). 

In the meantime, don't forget the Crisis Lines page on this blog with contact details should you need to speak to anyone about issues arising from the current situation.

Hang in there folks, we're getting there slowly but surely! 

(Pictured below, Irvine Beach, looking towards Arran, taken last night. Ayrshire agrees!)

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 expands Northern Irish deaths database

The following are included in this week's FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk) release:

Ireland, Northern Ireland Deaths 1998-2020
We’ve also created a distinct record set for recent Northern Ireland deaths and expanded the resource with over 5,000 new records. The entire collection now stands at over 92,000 records. In it, you can discover your relatives' names, birth and death years and where they lived.

(NB: FindmyPast has also updated its equivalent England and Wales deaths database.)

Royal Air Force & Commonwealth, Mentioned in Dispatches 1940-1945
Unique to Findmypast, this useful index can help you trace high-flying family members from World War 2. The collection is compiled from lists of names and regimental details that were originally published in London Gazette.

For news of other additons, including Roman Catholic records for Philadelphia in the United States, and for the relevant links, visit https://www.findmypast.co.uk/blog/new/catholic-death-raf-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.

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Old Scottish adds more Sheriff Court Extract Decrees indexes

Old Scottish Genealogy and Family History (www.oldscottish.com) has published indexes to some Scottish Sheriff Court records on its site, with more to come:

- Index to Stonehaven Sheriff Court Extract Decrees 1832-1869. 3,500 entries covering Kincardineshire and beyond.
- Index to Cromarty Sheriff Court extract decrees (NRS reference SC24/3/1-4)
- Index to Dornoch Sheriff Court extract decrees 1855-1869.
- Index to Fort William (Argyll) Sheriff Court (1841-1861, NRS reference SC52/2/1)

Various records for Edinburgh Sheriff Court are also indexed on the site.

To view the indexes visit https://www.oldscottish.com/sheriff-court-extract-decrees.html#Index

(With thanks to Fergus Smith via @oldscotbooks)


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.