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

Sports Centre Saturday: Robert Stuart King's England Call-up

Category: Famous Connections

Ireland 0 - 13 England. That was the score on 18th February 1882 when the England football team played Ireland for the first time and this victory remains England's largest ever win. The 1881-1882 season was the 11th season of competitive football for England but it was the Irish team's international debut and the friendly game took place at Knock Ground, Bloomfield, Belfast.

The game was also a first (and last) international appearance for Robert Stuart King, later to become Rev. Canon Robert Stuart King, who was studying at Oxford University at the time. Robert played in the half-back position and was one of seven who became the 90th players to appear for England. He played for the full 90 minutes of the game and was aged 19 years and 320 days.

If anyone has further information or pictures about the match, or about Robert himself, please contact me.

Robert Stuart King was related to me by marriage, being the husband of the daughter of my 2 x great-grandfather on my 'Dando' side. You can see Robert's family page at

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

Site updates - Surname: King

Category: What's New at

Family Tree Section

Follow Friday: GED-GEN Review - GEDCOM to Web Pages

Category: General

One of the advantages of having your own independent family tree website is that others will often discover it when inputting a simple name search into search engines such as Google – and we all know how rewarding it is when a distant cousin gets in touch or can offer some further information. Having a tree on a commercial site alone (such as Ancestry, Genes Reunited, etc.) will often limit your audience to other users of those particular websites.

This is where GED-GEN comes into its own. What’s GED-GEN I hear you say?

 .....Read more »

Those Places Thursday: A life-long ambition fulfilled

Category: Sharing Memories

It was a bright October day in 1999 when I travelled to France, with 5 family members, including my late gran who was 83 at the time. The journey was special because we were visiting my great-grandfather’s grave where he’d been buried in 1916.

Accidentally killed during WWI, more than eighty years had passed before Henry James Weaver (1882-1916) finally had a relative visit his graveside. It had been my gran’s life-long ambition to see where her father was buried, a father she’d never known and who had died 10 days before she was born.

Henry is buried in grave I.A.10. at Merville Communal Cemetery Extension and pictures from the visit can be seen in my website gallery.

The note attached to the poppy wreath which my gran laid at the graveside

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

Re-activate your expired credits at ScotlandsPeople

Category: General

ScotlandsPeople are offering all customers who have existing credits in their account the opportunity to re-activate and use the credits at no cost through the use of a voucher code. They are doing this to allow customers who have expired credits to take the opportunity to use them without making a purchase.

All customers who have existing credits can now use the free voucher code festive which will re-set the credit expiry to 90 days in their account. Customers may use this voucher any time until 1.00 pm. on Wednesday 5th January 2011. The voucher may only be used once in each account.

For information on how to use the voucher, click here.

Henry Ridley from Birmingham. How do I tell I have the correct man?

Category: Brick Walls

My great-grandmother's (Alice Ridley) birth certificate states that her father was Henry Ridley, a blacksmith, and her mother, Ann Ridley formerly Cotterill. Henry was 'Harry' on Alice's marriage certificate.

I see her family in Birmingham on the 1871 census before Alice was born. Living there are Alice's three elder siblings:

Henry's age is difficult to read but it looks like 30 (b. abt 1841), born in Birmingham, Warwickshire. He is a blacksmith on the census too.
Ann (actually Hannah Maria Cotterill) was born in Dudley Worcestershire in abt 1842.
1) Joseph (who is Joseph Henry), b. abt 1864 in Wednesbury, Staffs.
2) Mary A, b. abt 1868 in Moxley, Staffs
3) Alfred, b. abt 1870 in Derby, Staffs

I've traced Alice's mother in later censuses and she was no longer with Henry. She married a George Oakes in 1874 as Cotterill, her maiden name. As I hadn't been able to find a marriage between Alice's parents, this fits.

My problem is all I have for Henry Ridley is one definite census where his age is uncertain. I believe he might be the same Henry that I see in later censuses living with 'Elizabeth' in various parts of Lancashire.

Firstly, how might I gather further evidence to support the supposition that my Henry is definitely the one with Elizabeth - there's no marriage again as far as I can see.

Secondly, and even more pertinent is how can I find out who Henry's parents were? FreeBMD doesn't offer any clues as to his birth. The censuses show a possible family where the father is William and the mother is Lydia. FamilySearch reveals the same family with a baptism in 1839 in St Thomas, Birmingham. However, there may be other possibilities and I don't feel there's enough to go on so far to be certain that I'm tracing the correct ancestry. Even if I do manage to find a birth certificate for Henry, what information might it reveal to help me ascertain that he's definitely mine?
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