latest additions

Category: General

You can now search 60,523 Bank of England Wills Extracts covering the period 1717-1845 on

They've also published 54,722 new Lincolnshire parish marriage records spanning the period 1700 to 1837 which cover a total of 139 parishes. View the full list of parishes here.

Search for your Yorkshire ancestors in 40,029 new baptism, marriage and burial records. New parishes covered are:

Warmfield St Peters
Ossett Holy Trinity
Sandal St Helens
Alverthorpe St Pauls
Royston St Johns
Wrenthorpe Chapel
St John & St Michaels
Horbury St Peters
Wakefield All Saints
Flockton St James recent additions

Category: General

The London Illustrated News has started to release The London Illustrated News for Diamond subscribers. They have added 6 months' worth of the weekly newspaper from 1890 to the site so far with more to follow. They are bookmarked by article and are easily searchable, containing many announcements of Births, Marriages, Deaths, Obituaries, Wills & Bequests.

Birth Transcripts 1973-2005 have now added over 7.6 million birth transcripts, bringing the total number of birth records to over 28 million. They've added these records to a new tool that lets you search across all their Birth, Marriage and Death transcripts with built in SmartSearch technology, automatically showing partner's full name where available, and enabling you to find potential parents from a birth, potential children to a marriage and potential birth records from a death record.

The 2011 Census - family history in the making

Category: Making Memories

The 2011 CensusMy household questionnaire for the 2011 England and Wales Census arrived this week and after thumbing through it I decided to put down a few of my thoughts, from a genealogical point of view that is.

This is your chance to be part of history. Many family historians appreciate the invaluable information contained within the 19th and early 20th century censuses, which are currently available to them. Although these records may contain only basic information they do help us to locate our ancestors and glimpse at their lifestyles via their addresses and occupations.

Turning to the new 2011 census, whilst it does supply a great deal more detail for the future genealogist, I was surprised and dismayed to find that middle names are to be omitted, although full dates of birth are required. Again, a specific place of birth is not requested, only the country. I began to worry for our descendants that they'll have a difficult time tracking down ancestors with common names who were born in England or Wales, etc.

Of course, by then, who knows what other sources will become available to support the particulars they find on us in the census? For instance, might they have access to old household bills in the same way that we can view old telephone and street directories now, or will this type of material still be viewed as confidential in 100 years or so?

What about our personal musings on Twitter, Facebook and the like? And of course, our websites and blogs? The Internet Archive is busy recording much of what it finds online by means of its 'Wayback Machine'. The 'Machine' has already captured my own family history site twice. Imagine how our descendants might feel if they search for their ancestors, to find all our efforts pop up on their screens (assuming screens are still in use at that stage) after we, and our websites, are long gone!

In view of this, why not publish your own reflections as you complete your census forms and maybe one day your future relatives might search for and discover this personal account to compliment your household schedule. You could post to your blog or to your favourite social networking site or even ask a friend to put your thoughts on their pages if you don't have access to these facilities.

We have a choice of whether to complete the 2011 census online or post back our paper questionnaires. In trying to decide which method to choose I endeavoured to find out what would become of our paper questionnaires. Apparently, they are to be destroyed after they have been scanned. However, images of the actual questionnaires are to be securely stored on microfilm and kept confidential for the usual 100 years. Therefore, if you like the idea of your descendants seeing your own hand (albeit printed) and signature, then you might want to use the old-fashioned method and put pen to paper.

You could copy or scan your questionnaire before sending it back and keep it in your family archive. Then perhaps some of those who come after you won't have to wait 100 years to discover that you have gas central heating!

Those Places Thursday: Trafalgar Square, London - old photos

Category: Grandpa's Old Slides

Click the image for a larger version.

This photograph was most likely taken by my gran, Ivy Alice Hibbitt, nee Dando, probably some time during the 1960's. She would sometimes visit London with friends.

(From my grandpa's collection of slides - see this post for more information.)

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

Thankful Thursday: Digitizing Grandpa's Old Slides

Category: Grandpa's Old Slides

My parents recently produced two boxes of colour slides, which had been stored away in their house for a number of years. The slides consisted of photos taken by my paternal grandparents, ranging from the 1930's to the early 1970's, including family pictures and places they visited. My grandpa enjoyed photography and from time to time he'd convert the bathroom into a temporary dark room.

Eager to view these images I set about scanning them with my Epson Perfection V200 Photo scanner, which has a slide scanning facility, and I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the results. The software allows for colour restoration and backlight correction as well as other fine-tuning features. Even the darkest of slides rendered a viewable picture......Read more »

Amanuensis Monday: When Stephen Dando met Thomas Paine

Category: Famous Connections

Stephen Dando was my 5x great-uncle, the son of John Dando & Ann (nee Brothers), my 5 x great-grandparents. Born in Rodborough, Gloucestershire, in about 1770, he came from a Non-conformist family who were in the hat manufacturing business.

In 1785, Stephen moved to New York, where he lived until his death in 1851. His hat store was situated near Broadway. He also became an agent for a publication known as The Christian Advocate and Journal. Stephen was a religious man who had often heard John and Charles Wesley preach and he also held anti-slavery views.

Stephen Dando evidently met the famous radical propagandist and pamphleteer, Thomas Paine, who died in 1809. What follows is a letter to the editor of The Liberator (Boston, MA) from one EJ Webb, dated 1st July 1848 and published on Friday 9th May 1851.

The writer appears to have known Stephen Dando for a long time and thought of him as a decent and honest but misguided man who, in his opinion, had been used by a number of clergymen to deride the memory of Thomas Paine, whom the writer much admired......Read more »

Site Updates - Surnames: Dando / Congdon

Category: What's New at

  • Added more information to the section for Stephen Dando (abt. 1770-1851), hatter of New York, on his family sheet page and also to his biography page.
  • Discovered the maiden name of my 2 x great-grandmother, Mary Ann Congdon, the wife of John Hellyer/Hellier. Having not managed to find a marriage for this couple, I ordered the full birth certificate for their daughter, Sarah May Hellyer, which revealed her mother's maiden name. latest additions

Category: General

You can now search 9,122,481 new records from the Society of Genealogists on

Apprentices of Great Britain 
Boyd’s Inhabitants of London & Boyd’s Family Units
Boyd’s London Burials
Boyd’s Marriage Index
Boyd’s 1st Misc Series
Faculty Office Marriage Licence Allegations
Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills Index
St Andrew Holborn Marriage Index
St Leonard’s Shoreditch burials
St Leonard’s Shoreditch workhouse deaths
Teachers’ Registration Council Registers
Trinity House Calendars
Vicar-General Marriage Licence Allegations

There are more new birth, marriage and death records for Derbyshire too...

Amber Valley (Ripley)
Erewash (Ilkeston)
High Peak
Mansfield (Notts)
South Derbyshire (Derby)

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 »
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