Category: General

Sorting Saturday: 'My Library' in Google Books

Category: General

I recently discovered a useful facility within Google Books - I'm not sure if it's new or been around for a while but if you're anything like me you'll come across something new about an ancestor in a book in Google and forget to make a note of it there and then. This is where 'My library' comes into its own.

Sign into Google with your Google account, go to Google Books and you'll see a menu on the left called 'My library'. When you find a book you want to save, just click on the 'Add to My Library' link in the left-hand menu. If you've created new bookshelves (ie. categories) you can add the books straight into them. I've so far categorized my bookshelves by surname.

Once a book is in your library you can add a note. This is where I write a brief explanation of what I've found of interest in the book together with the page number so I can easily identify what I'm looking for when I'm ready to document my sources.

'My Library' in Google Books
'My Library' in Google Books

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

FindMyPast.co.uk - New Military and Militia Records

Category: General

FindMyPast.co.uk have recently launched several more military collections as follows:
  • 1861 Worldwide Army Index
  • Royal Fusiliers Collection 1863-1905
  • Paddington Rifles 1860-1912
  • Surrey Recuitment Registers 1908-1933
In addition, they've also published over 500,000 soldiers' records in their Militia Service Records 1806-1915. The Militia was a voluntary county-based part-time force for home defence. It ceased to be summoned after the Civil War but was revived in 1757, when the Militia Act established militia regiments in all counties of England and Wales.

Free access to the Probate Calendars at Ancestry until 8th July

Category: General

Ancestry is allowing free access to its National Probabte Calendar, 1861-1941 collection until 8th July. You can search the indexes to see where and when your ancestors died, see the original records to discover how much they left behind, and use the information to order their full wills and probate records from the Principal Probate Registry.

Ancestry are also offering Andrews Newspaper Index Cards, 1790-1976, for free. This collection of obituaries, death notices and other announcements was put together by heir hunters.

West Yorkshire records at Ancestry plus Premium Membership offer

Category: General

Ancestry's latest collection of parish records are for West Yorkshire. These include:

  • West Yorkshire, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906
  • West Yorkshire, England, Marriages and Banns, 1813-1921
  • West Yorkshire, England, Deaths and Burials, 1813-1985
  • West Yorkshire, England, Confirmations, 1859-1915
  • West Yorkshire, England, Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1512-1812
Also, if you sign up to Ancestry before 29th July, they're offering a Premium membership package for the price of an Essentials membership package, a saving of 24.

Ancestry - New Dorset records and progress with the 1911 Census

Category: General

Dorset Records

Ancestry have added two major record collections - Dorset Parish Records, 1813-2001 and Dorset Wills and Probate Records, 1565-1858.

I haven't personally found any ancestors from Dorset so far and I'm feeling pretty envious of anyone who does have connections with the county as I'm sure these records will prove extremely helpful.

1911 Census

Ancestry have also completed the first stage of their 1911 Census release. Members can log in to the site and browse the scanned record images from all over England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

At present, it's not possible to search the records as you would with previous censuses. They've already started work on the transcriptions and are on track to have them all finished by the end of the year. In the meantime, you can browse the records by county and civil parish. This page shows you how.

40,000 new records for Gloucestershire at FindMyPast

Category: General

FindMyPast.co.uk have added 40,000 new 18th century records for Gloucestershire:

Baptisms - 18,985 records - Dates: 1695-1794 - Parishes: Cam, Coaley, Dursley, Nympsfield, Owlpen, Slimbridge, Stinchcombe, Uley

Marriages - 4,969 records - Dates: 1696-1796 - Parishes - Cam, Coaley, Dursley, Nympsfield, Owlpen, Slimbridge, Stinchcombe, Uley

Burials - 14,513 records - Dates: 1697-1795 - Parishes: Cam, Coaley, Dursley, Nympsfield, Owlpen, Slimbridge, Stinchcombe, Uley

I have family connections in Coaley, Uley, Slimbridge and Dursley but unfortunately I don't currently have a subscription to FindMyPast. I might have to do something about this but I need to check the IGI before shelling out my cash.

Mappy Monday: Look up ancestral homes with Google Street View

Category: General

Do you ever wish you could see the places where your ancestors lived but perhaps it's not possible or practical to visit? Well the next best thing might be to use Google Street View. I often look up my ancestors' homes, or the churches they were married in, etc. using this facility.

It's very simple - go to Google Maps (eg. UK = http://maps.google.co.uk, US = http://maps.google.com). The link is also available from the Google home page amongst the Google links at the top left.

On the Maps page, put in the number or name of the house/farm (if known), street name and the area you're interested in and, all being well, you'll see a conventional map appear with a marker showing the location of (or close by) the property. You may also see a preview of the street on the left of the map, which can be clicked on to reaveal the street in the larger pane.


If you don't get the preview, then grab the little yellow 'man' icon above the + (plus) sign on the zoom bar and drag him with your mouse to the marker on the map. You need to place the 'man' icon onto a road which becomes highlighted in blue when you drag him onto the map. The street view should now be visible.


To turn around, hold your left mouse button down on the image and drag it from side to side to suit. You can also drag the mouse up and down to view taller buildings. To move along the street, just click on the white arrows which should appear on the road.

To return to the map, click the - (minus) sign on the zoom bar a couple of times. You may find you'll want to zoom out a bit further when the map is displayed once more.

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

Recent Ancestry additions

Category: General

Ancestry have launched Catholic Registers, 1750-1900, and Church of England Parish Registers, 1659-1974, for the city of Liverpool.

In addition, Ancestry have also launched the Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919. This collection remembers over 40,000 sailors who lost their lives during World War I and in many cases tells you where they're buried.

Those Places Thursday: Plymouth England, the Mayflower & the Pilgrims

Category: General

Click to view the articleI was recently asked by Heather Rojo, a member of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of New Hampshire, if I'd write an article about my home town of Plymouth, England, for their newsletter, The Shallop. I'm no historian but I was very happy to oblige. The full newsletter is available at their website and the article can be viewed by clicking the image on the right. I've also reproduced it below with additional photographs...

There are many references to the Mayflower and the Pilgrims here in Plymouth, England. Our local football team (that's soccer to you) is called Plymouth Argyle but its nickname is the Pilgrims, and the local sports centre is known as The Mayflower Leisure Centre.

The Mayflower Steps Memorial is situated on the Barbican, one of the oldest parts of Plymouth, much of the city having been heavily bombed during WWII. The actual steps that the Pilgrims departed from no longer exist. A granite block set in the pavement was the original memorial, although this was previously set in the roadway. A plaque commemorating the voyage was erected alongside in 1891 and the Doric portico was added in 1934. This in turn is flanked by the American and British flags. Taking a couple of steps through the portico leads to a mini-balcony, built in 2000, which has views out towards Plymouth Sound, the city's vast natural harbour, and to the sea beyond.

The Mayflower Steps
The Mayflower Steps
 
The Barbican is a popular attraction for tourists with its Tudor buildings and cobbled streets, and the Plymouth Gin Distillery, then a monastery, is said to have been where some of the Pilgrim Fathers spent their last night before leaving on the Mayflower. Others stayed at Island House where there is a plaque on the wall listing the names of the passengers who sailed on the voyage......Read more »

Ancestry.co.uk extends its free census access

Category: General

Due to some technical problems, Ancestry.co.uk is extending its free access to the censuses until midnight on Monday 28th March (UK time). (See this post for previous information.)
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