Monday, 28 February 2022

ScotlandsPeople to reinstate fuzzy search tool

A big thanks to Dee Williams at ScotlandsPeople (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk) for advising me this morning that having reviewed their decision last week to remove the fuzzy search and name variant tools (see http://scottishgenes.blogspot.com/2022/02/scotlandspeople-explains-recent-search.html), the centre has decided upon reflection, and after receiving feedback from several folk, that they will reintroduce the fuzzy search tool. This will not happen immediately, but at the next system update. 

The name variants option is a bit more problematic, as it does not work properly apparently, and will take some time and effort to address before its reintroduction.

(Thanks to Dee, and to colleagues within the Scottish Genealogy Network, including Michael Tobias and Fergus Smith)

 

Chris

My new book Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Through Land Records is now available to buy at https://bit.ly/IrishLandRecords. Also available - Sharing Your Family History Online, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records - to purchase, please visit https://bit.ly/ChrisPatonPSbooks. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Sunday, 27 February 2022

Scottish Family History Month presentations available until end of March

February's Scottish Family History Month from Family Tree and History Scotland magazines is now over, but it is still possible to purchase access to recordings of all five presentations, which will be available until the end of March. The talks were as follows:

  • Making sense of the Scottish census, by Emma Maxwell
  • Civil cases in the sheriff courts, by Fergus Smith
  • Scottish research resources before 1800, by Chris Paton
  • Tracing Scottish women, by Kirsty Wilkinson
  • Using DNA for Scottish family history research, by Michelle Leonard

It was a real pleasure to hosts the sessions, there was certainly a great mix of topics, and some great content within each talk, as well as some fun questions and answers after each.

Each session is individually £10 to view, or £40 for a bundle of all five - if you have a subscription to either of the magazines, that bundle price drops further to £35. 

Enjoy!

Chris

My new book Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Through Land Records is now available to buy at https://bit.ly/IrishLandRecords. Also available - Sharing Your Family History Online, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records - to purchase, please visit https://bit.ly/ChrisPatonPSbooks. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Saturday, 26 February 2022

British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal

On Twitter earlier:


The British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal is available to donate to at https://donate.redcross.org.uk/appeal/ukraine-crisis-appeal

Chris

My new book Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Through Land Records is now available to buy at https://bit.ly/IrishLandRecords. Also available - Sharing Your Family History Online, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records - to purchase, please visit https://bit.ly/ChrisPatonPSbooks. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Friday, 25 February 2022

Emigration/Immigration event in March from Kilted Kulture

The following talks are taking place on March 19th as part of a Kilted Kulture event from GenealogyVic:

19 March - 2pm GMT/9am ET
Topic - Emigration/Immigration

  • Dr Marjory Harper - Voices from the ScottishDiaspora: Highland Emigration to Canada in the20th Century
  • Dr Keir Strickland - Excavating the Clearances
  • Jessica Evershed - The Highlands & IslandsEmigration Scheme Database
  • Christine Woodcock - Highland Scots in AtlanticCanada

For further details visit https://www.genealogyvic.com/MARCH-KILTEDKULTURE-CONFERENCE.

(With thanks to Clare Wilson)

Chris

My new book Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Through Land Records is now available to buy at https://bit.ly/IrishLandRecords. Also available - Sharing Your Family History Online, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records - to purchase, please visit https://bit.ly/ChrisPatonPSbooks. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

ScotlandsPeople explains recent search tool removals

Earlier this week I reported the sudden removal of the fuzzy search and name variant search options from the ScotlandsPeople website (see http://scottishgenes.blogspot.com/2022/02/why-has-scotlandspeople-changed-its.html), which from the reactions I have read on several Facebook groups does seem to have upset many subscribers. 

I'm very grateful to Dee Williams at ScotlandsPeople (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk) for the following explanation as to why these options have been removed:

We have been aware for some time that the name variants options did not work correctly and produced spurious results that could not be explained. Also, for fuzzy searching, the search results often did not appear to relate to the name being searched on.

We have therefore removed these search options because they were unreliable and the results often did not provide useful results. We recommend instead that wildcards are used, which offer the most accurate results for the search criteria.

Alternatively if it is simply any names that start with a particular letter then the ‘Names that begin with’ is the best option. Phonetic searching still exists and these results simply provide suggested alternative names.

Going forward we recommend that you use wildcards to search for name variants or different spellings. Thus if you are searching for different spellings for MacAulay you can insert insert MaC*a*l*y, which will return the various spelling options, which include: MacAuley; MacAllay; MacAlley; MacAullay; MacAully; MacCally; MacCaulay and MacCauly. Thus the system looks up all spelling options between the letters where the wildcards are inserted.

Sometimes it is worth putting an asterix at the end of a name where it can sometimes be ended in a different letter like an e. For instance, Rankin* will return Rankin and Rankine.

If you want to look up different surname variants then the “The surnames of Scotland: their origin, meaning, and history”, by George Fraser Black, is a useful source of information. It can be viewed for free at the web link below. This publication shows all the various options for Scottish surnames and details when they were first referred to in the various archives. The various spelling options for the surname MacAulay are shown on page 551.

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015011274175&view=1up&seq=27

I hope that you now have a better understanding as to why these two search options were removed. In the past we have also received emails from customers complaining about the search results produced by these search options and looking for explanations that we could not provide. 


COMMENT: I have thanked Dee for this explanation, and have asked whether there may be an intention to repair these tools and to reintroduce them at some stage, or whether this is indeed their final end on the site. I will update this post should I get a response. 

In the meantime, I should add that the book suggested by Dee, Black's Surnames of Scotland, is indeed worth bookmarking, my own copy is well worn through use!

(With thanks to Dee Williams)

Chris

My new book Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Through Land Records is now available to buy at https://bit.ly/IrishLandRecords. Also available - Sharing Your Family History Online, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records - to purchase, please visit https://bit.ly/ChrisPatonPSbooks. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Thursday, 24 February 2022

More Kerry records added to RootsIreland

From RootsIreland (www.rootsireland.ie)

We are delighted to announce the uploading of 7,643 new Kerry Roman Catholic baptismal records to our database at Roots Ireland. They are as follows:

Kilgarvan RC baptisms, 1818-1895.

Chris

My new book Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Through Land Records is now available to buy at https://bit.ly/IrishLandRecords. Also available - Sharing Your Family History Online, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records - to purchase, please visit https://bit.ly/ChrisPatonPSbooks. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

ScotlandsPeople releases historic Perth Prison records

Scotlandspeople (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk) has released historic records from Perth Prison. From its announcement:

Scottish prison registers held by National Records of Scotland (NRS) have been added to ScotlandsPeople for the first time. The admission entries of thousands of prisoners have been indexed and can be searched using the prison registers search page. People from a broad range of backgrounds can be found in the prison registers and there is a wealth of information in these volumes for the genealogist and social historian alike.

The first set of released records concern admissions to Perth Prison between 1867-1879 and 1888-1921 which can be searched for free on ScotlandsPeople and the images viewed and downloaded for a small fee. This equates to over 50,000 indexed entries for Perth Prison over this period and includes details of both male and female prisoners.

The full article is at https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/article/news-article-prison-registers-released.

Note these records are free to search, not to view, you will need to pay to see an image (unlike the kirk session records).

There is still no update from ScotlandsPeople on why it has removed its fuzzy search and name variant search capabilities. (See http://scottishgenes.blogspot.com/2022/02/why-has-scotlandspeople-changed-its.html)

Chris

My new book Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Through Land Records is now available to buy at https://bit.ly/IrishLandRecords. Also available - Sharing Your Family History Online, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records - to purchase, please visit https://bit.ly/ChrisPatonPSbooks. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Tuesday, 22 February 2022

Why has ScotlandsPeople changed its name search tools options?

This is quite a surprise, and not necessarily a good one - ScotlandsPeople (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk) appears to have removed the options to search using 'fuzzy searches' and 'name-variants'. Users now only have the options to use 'Exact names', 'Wild cards allowed', 'Names that begin with' or 'Phonetic matching'.

In a recent Scottish Indexes hosted talk on researching Jewish ancestry in Scotland, Michael Tobias pointed out that the use of fuzzy searching was something that he sometimes used as a means to identify Jewish names on the database that may have become corrupted in their recording, as it uses the Levenshtein distance formula. Name variants is also a tool I have occasionally used.

The Surname and Forename search guidance has not been updated on the site at https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/guides/surnames#Options. This is what the guide states for the two missing options:

Fuzzy Matching
Fuzzy matching compares each word in the name searched for with each word in the names in the index using the Levenshtein distance formula. A score of half the number of letters in the word or greater is considered a match. The Levenshtein distance is a metric for measuring the amount of difference between two sequences (the so-called edit distance).
 
Name variants
If you select 'Name variants' the search is expanded by comparing a list of variants for each name on the ScotlandsPeople site. This has been compiled over many years by staff in the National Records of Scotland and ScotlandsPeople Centre, often based on suggestions from customers. The name variants list does not differentiate between a surname and a forename (because many names can be either), so a search for CLARE (depending on other search filters) might return CLAIR, CLAIRE and SINCLAIR. The list is a work in progress and new variants are proposed frequently. We realise that name variants can be a controversial topic and, like the other search options, the 'Name Variants' search option will help with some searches and not with others.

I have no idea if the Phonetic matching tool has somehow become re-purposed in some way to compensate, but it does seem an odd thing to remove these two options, as it is not as if they were getting in the way of the use of the other four options. 

It would be good if the service could provide an explanation!

(With thanks to Jenny Blain for flagging it via the Scottish Indexes Group on Facebook)

UPDATE (23 FEB): ScotlandsPeople is emailing the following response to enquirers:

Thank you for contacting ScotlandsPeople.

At present the Fuzzy Matching/Name Variant facility is not in operation. We apologise for any inconvenience this causes and will keep you updated as to its reintroduction.

Kind regards, etc

The word 'reintroduction' sounds promising...

Chris

My new book Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Through Land Records is now available to buy at https://bit.ly/IrishLandRecords. Also available - Sharing Your Family History Online, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records - to purchase, please visit https://bit.ly/ChrisPatonPSbooks. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

MyHeritage adds 28 Jewish records collections including Irish Jewish Birth Index

From MyHeritge (www.myheritage.com):

MyHeritage Adds 28 Collections of Jewish Historical Records

We are pleased to announce the publication of 5.8 million records from 28 historical record collections of Jewish historical records. The collections span the 18th–21st centuries and contain vital records such as birth, marriage, death, as well as tax, voter, immigration, and obituary records, from Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, Germany, Hungary, the U.S., the U.K., Ireland, and more. These records are invaluable for anyone researching their European Jewish heritage.

The release of these records — made possible thanks to MyHeritage’s collaboration with the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust and its affiliate, JewishGen, a leading website for Jewish genealogy — constitutes the first installment of a licensing agreement that will ultimately make almost all the JewishGen records accessible on MyHeritage. Future installments will include important Jewish historical record collections from North Africa, the Middle East, North America and more European collections. 

For further details, including links to all the collections, please visit the MyHeritage blog at https://blog.myheritage.com/2022/02/myheritage-adds-28-collections-of-jewish-historical-records/.

Note this collection includes the Ireland, Jewish Birth Index and the United Kingdom, Jewish Death and Burial Records collections.

(With thanks to Daniel Horowitz)

Chris

My new book Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Through Land Records is now available to buy at https://bit.ly/IrishLandRecords. Also available - Sharing Your Family History Online, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records - to purchase, please visit https://bit.ly/ChrisPatonPSbooks. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

FamilySearch releases Lanarkshire dissenting Presbyterian church records

FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org) has added the following collection:

Scotland, Lanarkshire Church Records, 1823-1967
Church Records from various, non-Church of Scotland churches containing christening, marriage, and burial entries that took place in the county of Lanarkshire from 1823 to 1967. Records may include: name, parents, spouse, father's occupation, residence, date of birth, date of marriage, burial date and place and much more depending on the record type. The original records are held at the National Library of Scotland under the CH2 series.

The following churches are represented:

  • Biggar Relief congregation, Biggar (South United Presbyterian; Gillespie, United Presbyterian; and United Free)
  • Calderbank Mission Station, United Free Church, Calderbank    **
  • Kirkton United Presbyterian Church, Carluke    **
  • Dunbeth Relief Church, Coatbridge (later Dunbeth United Presbyterian Church, Dunbeth United Free Church)
  • Brandon Street Second Relief Church, Hamilton (United Presbyterian, Hamilton Brandon United Free)
  • St. John's Free Church, Hamilton    

And in Glasgow: 

  • Greenhead United Free Church (formerly Relief Free Church, later United Free, East Church of Scotland)
  • Plantation United Presbyterian Church (aka Plantation Cornwall Street Church of Scotland) **
  • Presbytery of Glasgow    
  • Regent Place United Associate Session (United Presbyterian, United Free and Church of Scotland, united with Cathedral Square in October, 1941)
  • St. James's Free Church    

NB: A quick comparison suggest that those collections marked with ** do not appear to be on ScotlandsPeople. (Although the Kirkton UP records may be the Kirkton Relief marriage records collection on SP)

To access the records visit https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/4453939

For more on their background, visit https://www.familysearch.org/en/wiki/Scotland,_Lanarkshire_Church_Records_-_FamilySearch_Historical_Records

(With thanks to Alison Spring @FrugalFH via Twitter)

Chris

My new book Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Through Land Records is now available to buy at https://bit.ly/IrishLandRecords. Also available - Sharing Your Family History Online, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records - to purchase, please visit https://bit.ly/ChrisPatonPSbooks. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

 

 

Saturday, 19 February 2022

Scottish Research Online course starts Feb 28th - still spaces available!

A reminder that the next 5 week long Scottish Research Online course from Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd (www.pharostutors.com), taught by yours truly, starts in just over a week's time on February 28th 2022, and there is still plenty of availability! 

The following is the course description:

Scottish Research Online (102)
Tutor: Chris Paton

Scotland was one of the first countries to digitise its major family history records collections for accessibility online, and continues to this day to use such resources to promote a worldwide interest in family history for those with Caledonian connections.

This course, originally created by genealogist Sherry Irvine, and now taught and regularly updated by Scottish based genealogist Chris Paton, describes the major sites and record types that you will encounter in your research, and how to analyse the results. Most importantly it will inspire you to actively pursue your interest in Scottish genealogy and take it to the next level.

Lesson Headings:

  • Understanding Scotlands People, FindmyPast, Family Search, Ancestry, and FreeCen
  • Essential Maps and Gazetteers
  • Civil Registration and Census Research
  • Searching in Church of Scotland Registers
  • Scottish Wills and Inventories
  • Bonus lesson - Take It From Here


Note: it is recommended but not required that students in this course sign up for the basic search option, 30 units/seven days, at ScotlandsPeople (cost is £7.50 for 30 credits)

Each lesson includes exercises and activities; a minimum of 1 one-hour chat - See How the Courses Work.


STUDENTS SAID: "I particularly liked the fact that the course didn't just focus on the well-known BMD resources available, but on a much wider range of websites, including many which give extremely useful background information on the geography and history of the localities where our ancestors lived."

"a very knowledgeable Instructor"

Relevant Countries: Scotland

Course Length: 5 Weeks
Start Date: 28 February 2022
Cost: £58

For a wee video introduction to the course, see below or visit https://youtu.be/ssdYLlGtoHw

 

I'll hopefully see you there! 

Chris

My new book Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Through Land Records is now available to buy at https://bit.ly/IrishLandRecords. Also available - Sharing Your Family History Online, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records - to purchase, please visit https://bit.ly/ChrisPatonPSbooks. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Thursday, 17 February 2022

British Newspaper Archive passes 48 million pages

The British Newspaper Archive (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) has passed 48 million pages of online content, standing at the time of writing at 48,073,960.  

The following is a breakdown of the latest content added for Scotland and Ireland:

Scotland:

Border Advertiser
1868, 1870-1872, 1875-1877, 1879-1886, 1888-1889, 1891-1892

Ayrshire Post
1986

Kilmarnock Standard
1986

Paisley Daily Express
1886, 1889, 1894

Commonwealth (Glasgow)
1853-1860, 1880

Edinburgh Evening News
1910, 1912

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
1975, 1977-1979, 1981, 1986

Strathearn Herald
1860, 1983

Stirling Observer
1849

Glasgow Evening Times
1879, 1884


Ireland:

Irish Weekly and Ulster Examiner
1927-1962

Witness (Belfast)
1880, 1882, 1894-1900, 1902-1929, 1931-1941

County Tipperary Independent and Tipperary Free Press
1897-1905, 1907

Irish Emerald
1877-1880

Chris

My new book Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Through Land Records is now available to buy at https://bit.ly/IrishLandRecords. Also available - Sharing Your Family History Online, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records - to purchase, please visit https://bit.ly/ChrisPatonPSbooks. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

My genealogy column for Computer Act!ve magazine

I'm delighted to announce that I will be writing the family history column for Computer Act!ve magazine from Future Publishing, who many of you will remember was the publisher a few years ago of the popular magazine Your Family Tree. The magazine is produced every two weeks, and focusses very much on "featuring practical advice, how-to guides and top-tips to help you get the most from your computer". 

In each issue my column will examine a UK based online genealogy resource, with a Q&A also answered. My contribution kicks off with issue 625 (16 Feb 2022), in which I take a look at the biggest release out just now, the English and Welsh 1921 census.

To order a copy, please visit the magazine's website at https://getcomputeractive.co.uk

I hope you'll enjoy the column!

Chris

My new book Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Through Land Records is now available to buy at https://bit.ly/IrishLandRecords. Also available - Sharing Your Family History Online, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records - to purchase, please visit https://bit.ly/ChrisPatonPSbooks. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Tuesday, 15 February 2022

Burns Monument Centre increases ScotlandsPeople access

I had another productive morning of research at the Burns Monument Centre in Kilmarnock, which has made some changes to its ScotlandsPeople service provision from this week (https://www.east-ayrshire.gov.uk/CouncilAndGovernment/BirthMarriageAndDeath/Scotlands-People/ScotlandsPeopleCentre.aspx). 

Since its re-opening following the Covid lockdowns, the centre's four terminals have been made available to customers with four hour slots that had to be booked in advance on Friday mornings for the following week. From this week going forward there are now eight terminals available, with each seat separated from the next by a perspex divider. The booking slots remain at four hours for now, and whilst they still must be reserved on Friday mornings for the following week, if any slots are going free during the week from cancellations, or from not having been booked in advance, these will be announced on the service's Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Burns-Monument-Kilmarnock/135969349778491).

We're not quite back to normal yet, but this is going to provide a serious service improvement in the current circumstances. Note that although the slots are offically from 9am-1pm, the doors actually open at 8.50am, and the computers are automatically switched off at 12.50pm (you get a fifteen minute on-screen notification just prior to the terminals going off), and that access remains via the side entrance (pictured). Forewarned and all that..!

(With thanks to the Burns Monument Centre)

Chris

My new book Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Through Land Records is now available to buy at https://bit.ly/IrishLandRecords. Also available - Sharing Your Family History Online, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records - to purchase, please visit https://bit.ly/ChrisPatonPSbooks. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Monday, 14 February 2022

Society of Genealogists talk: Scottish Research Resources Before 1800

It's busy on the talks front again! I've just given a talk this morning to Phyllis Court Family History Society, and my next offering will be this coming Saturday 19th February 2022 for the Society of Genealogists in London, with the topic being Scottish Research Resources Before 1800. Here's the description:

In this talk Chris Paton, author of Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records, takes us to pre-19th century Scotland, when things begin to get a little more complicated with our ancestral research.

From kirk to state, a variety of records are available, but it's one thing to find them, and quite another to understand them, with different handwriting styles, language problems and the feudal nature of Scottish society some of the many challenges that keeps earlier Scottish research fun but challenging.

Chris will explore the various record types available, and how to access them both online and offline.

To sign up, please visit https://societyofgenealogists.arlo.co/w/events/218-scottish-research-resources-before-1800

I hope to see you there!

Chris

My new book Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Through Land Records is now available to buy at https://bit.ly/IrishLandRecords. Also available - Sharing Your Family History Online, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records - to purchase, please visit https://bit.ly/ChrisPatonPSbooks. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Sunday, 13 February 2022

MyHeritage offers free access to marriage records for Valentine's Day

To tie in with Valentine's Day, MyHeritage (www.myheritage.com) is offering free access to its collection of 600 million marriage (and divorce!) records, from February 13th-20th 2022. The collection is worldwide, with some entries for Scotland and Ireland included.

To access the collection visit https://www.myheritage.com/research/category-2020/marriage-divorce

(With thanks to Daniel Horowitz)

Chris

My new book Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Through Land Records is now available to buy at https://bit.ly/IrishLandRecords. Also available - Sharing Your Family History Online, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records - to purchase, please visit https://bit.ly/ChrisPatonPSbooks. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Saturday, 12 February 2022

TheGenealogist releases RAF Operations Record Books 1911-1963

The RAF Operations Books from 1911-1963 are now available via TheGenealogist (www.thegenealogist.co.uk):

Announcing the largest collection of fully searchable RAF Operations Record Books online

TheGenealogist’s latest release of transcripts of RAF ORBs provide the most complete collection of indexed AIR 27 records TheGenealogist has today released over 4.2 million transcripts for its RAF Operations Record Books (ORBs), fully searchable by Name, Rank, Aircraft, Squadron, and Date plus many other fields, making it simpler to find your air force ancestors.

TheGenealogist uniquely allows you to search the period 1911-1963. With over 11 million records online, this is the largest collection of searchable AIR 27 records making it the best place to find details about your RAF ancestors.

TheGenealogist’s significant transcription effort has been aimed at providing detailed indexes which cover 1911 to 1963.

Mark Bayley, Head of Content at TheGenealogist said: “We are delighted to be releasing such a large number of AIR 27 ORBs, making TheGenealogist the most comprehensive site for AIR 27 records online.”

The ORBs on TheGenealogist include not only the journal-like day to day entries recorded on Form 540 in which you can find RAF personnel mentioned, but also all of the appendices that go along with these documents, giving many statistical details as well as “Secret Orders”.

Some feedback TheGenealogist has received:

“One of your best. To be able to follow the day to day activities of individuals down to the hours the planes take off and land is amazing. I look forward to the rest of this data set.”

“A 2 minute search brought up 2 years of operations logs for my Father, who was a pilot in 123 Squadron stationed in North Africa, India & Burma. They are full of amazing information. Everything from a near miss when a Japanese machine gun bullet ‘entered his cockpit’, what films they watched & complaints about the food. Just wonderful.”

“Just to say a big THANK YOU for giving my family access to records of my late Uncle Douglas Thom's operations in 90 Squadron Bomber Command in 1944. We have been very frustrated that his log books seem to have "disappeared" when his home in mid Wales was cleared. Now at least we have a time-line of his sorties and more information to add to his "not often spoken about" story. I will be passing what you have on him to my cousin, his son Doug, in Canada.”

Learn more about RAF records and read TheGenealogist’s free articles here: https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/raf/

This collection is provided in association with The National Archives.

These records and many more are available to Diamond subscribers of TheGenealogist.co.uk

(With thanks to Nick Thorne)

Chris

My new book Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Through Land Records is now available to buy at https://bit.ly/IrishLandRecords. Also available - Sharing Your Family History Online, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records - to purchase, please visit https://bit.ly/ChrisPatonPSbooks. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Thursday, 10 February 2022

John Gray Centre in Haddington to re-open from next week

The John Gray Centre, East Lothian's heritage hub in Haddington, will be re-opening from next week on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10am-4.30pm, on an appointments basis. 

For further details, please visit https://www.johngraycentre.org/visit/.

(NB: At the time of writing the opening hours page of the site had yet to be updated, but I have confirmed the new hours with the centre via Twitter.)

Chris

My new book Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Through Land Records is now available to buy at https://bit.ly/IrishLandRecords. Also available - Sharing Your Family History Online, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records - to purchase, please visit https://bit.ly/ChrisPatonPSbooks. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

The new North Irish Journal index 2013-2021

I've just attended a great presentation by Audrey McKeown and Michael McKeag about a new index that has been compiled for the North Irish Roots journal of the North of Ireland Family History Society (www.nifhs.org), covering the most recent journals from 2013-2021.

A wee bit of background from the email announcing the launch:

The new resource lists 2000 family surnames, 2100 locations and over 100 useful websites. It is a substantial piece of work at 44 pages which are searchable.

The NIFHS journal has long been digitised in a partnership between Queens University Belfast and JSTOR - a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources. NIFHS members get free, at home, access to the Irish Collection on JSTOR. Some libraries offer access too. The new index is free to members and is due to be sent to them after the launch event.


Note that all copies of the journal are available to members within the Ireland Collection on the JSTOR platform (https://www.jstor.org), with the exception of those from the most recent three years (there is an ongoing release programme on JSTOR for access to journals). For further information on this access, please visit https://www.nifhs.org/membership/benefits-of-membership/jstor-north-irish-roots/. For more on the journal itself, visit https://www.nifhs.org/resources/north-irish-roots/.

The journal is a great member benefit, and the index should be a very useful finding aid - congratulations to all involved!

Chris

My new book Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Through Land Records is now available to buy at https://bit.ly/IrishLandRecords. Also available - Sharing Your Family History Online, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records - to purchase, please visit https://bit.ly/ChrisPatonPSbooks. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Tuesday, 8 February 2022

Queen's University Belfast wins 1921 Scottish census transcription contract

I once considered doing an architecture degree at Queen's University Belfast, but it was going to take seven years, and I was only a mere mortal. But it is amazing the things that Queen's offers. For example, it has now just won the contract to provide the 1921 Scottish census transcription! This follows the tender that was put out in July 2021 (see http://scottishgenes.blogspot.com/2021/07/nrs-issues-request-for-tenders-to-index.html), the deadline for applications being August 27th 2021. 

The award notice for 'The Creation of Transcriptions (Electronic Indexes) of the Historic 1921 Scotland’s Census Handwritten Records' contract is available to view at https://bidstats.uk/tenders/2022/W04/767558014 and notes that the contract was awarded to Queen's on January 25th 2022, to the value of £438,366. The project duration is not specified, but the notice states that there are 'Two 6 months extensions available at the sole discretion of the Purchaser'.

The NRS has stated that the 1921 census will be released in the 'latter half of 2022'.

(With thanks to Fergus Smith for the heads up)

Chris

My new book Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Through Land Records is now available to buy at https://bit.ly/IrishLandRecords. Also available - Sharing Your Family History Online, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records - to purchase, please visit https://bit.ly/ChrisPatonPSbooks. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Monday, 7 February 2022

FHF: An introduction to Irish research, and books offer

The latest Family History Federation Really Useful Bulletin (No. 18, Feb 2022) from the Family History Federation in England includes a three page article from yours truly entitled An Introduction to Irish research.

To tie in with the article, the FHF is running a promotion until February 28th of 10% off all Irish books available to buy from its bookshop at https://www.familyhistorybooksonline.com/irish-ancestry-39 - please check the newsletter for the discount code. (You'll find my titles there amongst them!)

To subscribe to the society's free newsletter, please visit https://www.familyhistoryfederation.com

I hope the article helps!


Chris

My new book Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Through Land Records is now available to buy at https://bit.ly/IrishLandRecords. Also available - Sharing Your Family History Online, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records - to purchase, please visit https://bit.ly/ChrisPatonPSbooks. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Sunday, 6 February 2022

Scottish Research Resources Before 1800 talk on Tues 8 Feb

A reminder that my talk Scottish Research Resources Before 1800 talk takes place this coming Tuesday 8th Feb at 6.30pm, as part of Scottish Family History Month from both Family Tree and History Scotland magazines. 

You can book a ticket at https://www.family-tree.co.uk/news/scottish-family-history-month-2022/, priced £10, although if you book for all five talks in the series, the price is £40 (or £35 if you are a magazine subscriber). Note that if you are unable to view the talks live, they will be made available as recordings until the end of the month.

I look forward to hopefully seeing you there!

Chris 

My new book Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Through Land Records is now available to buy at https://bit.ly/IrishLandRecords. Also available - Sharing Your Family History Online, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records - to purchase, please visit https://bit.ly/ChrisPatonPSbooks. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Tuesday, 1 February 2022

NLS adds co-ordinates searches to find WW1 military trenches

The National Library of Scotland (www.nls.uk) has added a new way to search for military trenches in its British First World War Trench Maps, 1915-1918 collection: 

We have added a way to search trench map coordinates in our Map Finder - with Outlines and Explore Georeferenced Maps viewers. You can input various lengths of trench map coordinates (eg. '28.I.8', '36C.S.22.c', '62d.J.19.b.4.3') in the 'Search Places' panel to the upper left, and the map will zoom to these locations. The Trench Map Coordinates for your mouse cursor location are shown dynamically to the lower right. If you click/tap on the 'Show Coordinates' tab in the footer, or hold the ALT button down and click/tap, these Trench Map Coordinates appear in a popup box for copying. During the First World War, trench map coordinates were used extensively for giving precise locations on the Western Front.

For further details visit https://maps.nls.uk/ww1/trenches/info2.html#search-coordinates

(Source: https://maps.nls.uk/additions.html)

Chris

My new book Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Through Land Records is now available to buy at https://bit.ly/IrishLandRecords. Also available - Sharing Your Family History Online, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records - to purchase, please visit https://bit.ly/ChrisPatonPSbooks. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

Ballingarry (Tipperary) records added to RootsIreland

From RootsIreland (www.rootsireland.ie)

New South Tipperary Records Added

We are delighted to announce the addition of over 13,000 Ballingarry RC records to our database at Roots Ireland.

Ballingarry RC Baptisms, 1814-1900: 11,000+ records
Ballingarry RC Marriages, 1814-1900: 2,500 records

For an up to date list of sources for South Tipperary and to search these records, go to tipperarysouth.rootsireland.ie and login or subscribe as required. 

(Thanks to RootsIreland via email)

Chris

My new book Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Through Land Records is now available to buy at https://bit.ly/IrishLandRecords. Also available - Sharing Your Family History Online, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records - to purchase, please visit https://bit.ly/ChrisPatonPSbooks. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.