Ancestor Approved Award

Category: General

Ancestor Approved AwardI was recently nominated for an Ancestor Approved Award by Mike at 'You Don't Choose Your Family'. Many thanks to you, Mike.

This award was created by Leslie Ann Ballou of the Ancestors Live Here blog. Recipients are asked to list ten surprising, humbling or enlightening aspects of their research and to pass it along to ten other bloggers who they feel are doing their ancestors proud.

So here's my starter for ten, with a slight twist...
  1. It's official! I'm a genealogy anorak. And to think I was going to trace my family inside 14 days with Ancestry's free trial!
  2. My 4 x great-grandfather left over £24,000 in 1860 (getting on for a double millionaire today). Now I need to know, what became of the money?
  3. Since taking up blogging, there's been no time for actual research. Duh!!
  4. Victorians weren't so straight-laced as they'd like to have made out they were.
  5. What did happen to all the money?
  6. I simply adore stomping about in wet graveyards with soggy socks and the wrong shoes.
  7. And what joy there is waiting for Mr. Postie to deliver that certificate with all the answers, only to leave you with a load more questions.
  8. No really, where did the money go? Just kidding! Lol
  9. I don't know about enlightening moments, I think I've had my share of senior moments.
  10. Now was she my third cousin, three times removed or my second cousin, four times removed? Scrub that, we're related by marriage!
And I'm presenting this award to...
  1. Audrey at The Family Recorder
  2. Caroline at Caro's Family Chronicles
  3. Rosemary at London Roots Research
  4. Brian at One Pilot's War
  5. Jennifer at Climbing My Family Tree > One Branch at at Time
  6. CeCe at Your Genetic Genealogist
  7. Lorlee at Dear Annie...
  8. Emily at Writing Your Memories
  9. Miles at Miles' Genealogy Tips
  10. Lidian at The Virtual Dime Museum

Those Places Thursday - Down on the Edwardian Farm

Category: Ancestors Corner

Today I'm writing about the recent BBC series, 'Edwardian Farm', which was set in the beautiful Tamar Valley, on the borders of Devon and Cornwall. In case you didn't see it, the program was about two archaeologists and a domestic historian, who took up residence for a calendar year at Morwellham Quay, living, working and dressing as they would have done in the Edwardian period at the beginning of the 20th century......Read more »

More records at FamilySearch and FindMyPast

Category: General

FamilySearch have recently added 90 million records and 18 million digital images from 13 countries. There are over 3 million new digital images of U.S. naturalization records included in the update.'s index to the 1881 and 1891 England and Wales censuses and's indexes for U.S. border crossings from Canada to U.S. and Mexico to U.S. can now be searched free of charge at Full details can be viewed here.

FindMyPast have recently updated their London docklands parish baptisms collection with 22,645 new records. This brings the total amount of London docklands baptisms on to 503,711. Coverage is as follows:

Bermondsey 23,179
Bethnal Green 12,605
Isle of Dogs 7,963
Limehouse 37,961
Mile End 10,376
Millwall 2,408
Newington, Southwark 15,844
Poplar 20,740
Ratcliff 4,783
Shadwell 35,496
Spitalfields 29,035
Stepney 186,560
Stratford 3,500
Wapping 39,796
Whitechapel 73,465

Find your convict ancestors for free until 31st January

Category: General

To celebrate Australia Day you can enjoy free, unlimited access to Australia's most comprehensive online collection of Convict records with until 31st January. With free access to over 2.3 million Convict and related records, including passenger lists from the First Fleet and original documents dating back to 1788, can help you discover if there is a convict relative in your family history.

In order to view a free record image, you need to register (which is also free) or to log in.

Click here to find your convict ancestors.

Follow Friday - Search for Non-Conformist burials

Category: Handy Family History Links

From the mid 19th century, Abney Park Cemetery became the principal place of memorial for prominent London dissenters (Congregationalists, Baptists and other Non-Conformists). Before this, the burial ground at Bunhill Fields had served a similar purpose.

National Burial IndexIf you have any Non-Conformist ancestors, it's worth performing a free search of the Abney Park Cemetery online database .

Furthermore, the 3rd Edition of the National Burial Index (available on CD for approximately £30) includes 47,682 entries for Bunhill Fields between 1788 and 1853.

[Why Follow Friday? This phrase has been included in the title in order to take part in Daily Blogging Prompts at Geneabloggers]

Thrifty Thursday: Search & view Northern Ireland Wills online

Category: Handy Family History Links

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) have recently launched a new application which provides a fully searchable index to the will calendar entries for the three District Probate Registries of Armagh, Belfast and Londonderry, with the facility to view the entire will calendar entry for each successful search. The database covers the period 1858-1919 and 1922-1943. Part of 1921 has been added, with remaining entries for 1920-1921 to follow in the near future.

In addition, 93,388 digitised images of entries from the copy will books covering the period 1858-1900 have now been linked to the corresponding will calendar entries and are now available online, allowing users to view the full content of a will.

I'd been waiting for some time for access to a downloadable version of the will of my 3 x great-grandfather, Joseph Dando (1802-1870). Not only was I pleased to see this facility had finally arrived but imagine my surprise when I also discovered that it's FREE.

Search the PRONI Will Calendars here - who and what will you find?

[Why Thrifty Thursday? This phrase has been included in the title in order to take part in Daily Blogging Prompts at Geneabloggers]

Ancestry launch the London Land Tax Valuations

Category: General

If you have ancestors who lived in London at the turn of the century (that's the 20th century), then you may be interested in the London, England, Land Tax Valuations from 1910 which have just been launched by Ancestry.

This is a collection of land tax valuation rolls in the City of London taken in 1910. The Finance Act 1910 included the taxation in the increase in the value of land and in order to tax the increase the land had to be valued to begin with. These rolls are the baseline valuations of land in the different districts of London. The work was done by the District Valuation Offices of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue. It involved the compilation of field books and maps that listed all property. The Domesday Books that comprise this collection is the summary of this information.

The records contain:
  • District/ward
  • Residence
  • Tax date
  • Proprietor name
  • Tenant name
  • Street
  • Description of property
  • Yearly rent or value

John Dando's Letter to the Countess - Famous Friday

Category: Famous Connections

Signed picture of the Countess of Huntingdon at Rodborough Tabernacle - click for a larger versionJohn Dando, the elder, my 6 x great-grandfather, was involved in the Calvinistic Methodist movement during the 18th century Evangelical Revival. He was not only acquainted with, but offered hospitality to the famous preacher, George Whitefield, when he was staying in Dursley, Gloucestershire.

Whitefield became the Countess of Huntingdon's personal chaplain and with his assistance the Countess founded the Countess of Huntingdon’s Connexion, a Calvinistic movement within the Methodist Church.

Although John Dando was a hat maker, it was because of him that a group of Calvinistic Methodists moved from Stancombe to Dursley and established a Tabernacle (a type of Non-Conformist church), which was completed in about 1760.

In 1771, John wrote to Selina, The Countess of Huntingdon. The original letter is kept at The Countess of Huntingdon's Archives, The Cheshunt Foundation, Westminster College, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0AA. F1 Series No. 141.

In 2008, my parents went to Cambridge and viewed the letter. It's not known whether John Dando ever met the Countess in person but he certainly knew Whitefield.

Read more about John on his family page.

New parish records on

Category: General

You can now search 126,967 new parish baptism and marriage records for Durham, Yorkshire, Cumberland, Northumberland and Westmorland on

The Northumberland & Durham Family History Society provided with these records, in association with the Federation of Family History Societies.

The details are as follows:

Type of records: Baptisms
Number of records: 16,383
Years covered: 1773–1959
County covered: Durham
Areas covered: St Andrew, St Helen & St Peter

Type of records: Marriages
Number of records: 110,584
Years covered: 1521–1989
County covered: Durham, Yorkshire, Cumberland, Northumberland, Westmorland
Areas covered: St Andrew, St Helen & St Peter, St Thomas, St Steven, St Paul, Cathedral, St Ignatius, All Saints, Holy Trinity, St Aidan, St Barnabas, St Catherine, St Columba, St Cuthbert, St George, St Hilda, St James, St John, St Margaret, St Mark, St Mary, St Mary-le-Bow, St Mary South Bailey, St Nicholas, St Oswald, Venerable Bede

In addition, have compiled a list of 324 parishes which provide 447,108 new baptism records for Durham, Yorkshire, Cumberland, Northumberland and Westmorland which can be viewed here.

New burial records for Warwickshire on

Category: General have just published 154,074 new parish burial records for Warwickshire. The Birmingham and Midland Family History Society provided these records, in association with the Federation of Family History Societies.

The details are as follows:

Type of records: Burials
Number of records: 154,074
Years covered: 1883–2007
County covered: Warwickshire
Areas covered: Key Hill and Warstone Lane
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