Archive for July, 2010


Did your ancestor die at sea or abroad in the 18th century?

 Did your ancestor die at sea or abroad in the 18th century?

If so then he may be mentioned in the latest set of records to be added to the Society of Genealogists Members’ Area http://sog.frontisgroup.com/bin/aps_person_search.php

When a person died without making a will, a relative or creditor could apply for letters of Administration (or Admon). They become known as the Administrator or Administratrix of the estate, the latter often being the widow of the deceased.

Admons include the name, address and occupation of the deceased and administrator, along with the date and place of death and the relationship between them. The identity of beneficiaries is not noted, nor any details of how the estate is distributed.

Letters of administration could be granted in other cases, such as where a will is made but no executors are mentioned. Alternatively a testator might appoint executors who died before the testator or who “renounced” or refused to act in such capacity. In such cases the court granted letters of administration with “Will attached” or “Will annexed”.

The records that have been added to the Members Area are the Admons granted by The Prerogative Court of Canterbury for the period 1750-1800. They are particularly useful to family historians as the court had jurisdiction over the estates of those who died at sea or abroad.

Indeed a third of all the records relate to these 2 categories, reflecting the large number of sailors and soldiers killed in battle during this period (which included the Seven Years War with France (1754-1763), the American War of Independence (1775-1783) and the French Revolutionary Wars (1792-1802).

The serviceman’s dependents would have been entitled to pay or prize money owed to the deceased, and thus an admon may survive for a person who would not otherwise have appeared in probate records.

The Society is grateful to Anthony Camp and the team of dedicated volunteers (listed on the Members Area) who have made this valuable index available to researchers. The original documents can be consulted at the National Archives at Kew.

Non-members can carry out a free surname search on these records by going to http://sog.frontisgroup.com/bin/aps_person_search.php but to view any records found you will need to join the Society.

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Members’ Area update

The Society of Genealogists has recently added many more family history records to the Members Area of its website (http://sog.frontisgroup.com/bin/aps_person_search.php)  More than 600,000 people are now listed, ranging from railway workers to nuns, and you may well find reference to your ancestors amongst them.

To celebrate the addition of the new records an article will appear here each Friday describing them in more detail, starting tomorrow with an exciting collection that lists many people who died at sea.

Non-members can carry out a free surname search on the site but to view any records found you will need to join. New records are being added all the time so check back regularly – you may just find a reference to that elusive ancestor.

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SoG Chairman speaking on Radio 4 about the Black Chartist William Cuffay

 

Society of Genealogists Chairman, Collin Allen will be appearing on Radio 4 on Wednesday 28 July at 11am, being interviewed by Trade Unionist Bill Morris about the Chartist William Cuffay and his family history links to Medway towns in Kent.

The website for the radio programme Britain’s Black Revolutionary tells us that,

“as far back as the London of 1848 the son of slave was leading one of this countries most powerful political movements.
Few of us have heard of William Cuffay, a physically deformed tailor who lived in Soho. And yet he was notorious in his day, to the extent that the political class of the 1840s dubbed him “the pore old blackymore rogue” as he went on to lead a political movement so powerful that Britain cowered behind its shuttered windows and the massed ranks of its armies.
Just as the thrones of Europe were yet again tumbling to revolution, the 1848 Chartist uprising in favour of democracy and equality in London threatened the status quo in Britain. History records that an articulate democrat, William Cuffay, emerged as a key organiser of the mass demonstration that faced the Duke of Wellington’s army in the demand for the vote. Revolution threatened the capital – but who was the diminutive tailor holding such sway? ”


Lord Morris follows a predecessor in the labour movement through his fascinating story – from son of a St Kitts slave to political leader, and ultimately into exile at Her Majesty’s pleasure in Tasmania.

Producer: Philip Sellars.

Broadcast
Wednesday 28 Jul 2010 11:00 BBC Radio 4

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Treasures Tuesday (27th July 2010) Cost of living in 1890

With the current recession, people are increasingly aware of the cost of living and making a conscious effort to tighten their belts. This weeks Treasures Tuesday focuses on the cost of living in 1890. We have picked a collection from our Special Collections which highlights a wealthy Lord and his outgoings compared to the salary of his three groomsmen. The pay list for the servants compared to the grocery receipts of their master shows just how much of a struggle it would have been to make ends meet.  Click here to find out more about this and other Treasures of the Society.

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Treasures Tuesday (20th July 2010) Printed Ephemera

This week we’re focusing on rare old ephemera within the Society’s collection. Ephemera is transitory written and printed matter not intended to be retained or preserved. It includes trade cards, bookmarks, catalogues, greeting cards, pamphlets, headed letters, posters, prospectuses, stock certificates, tickets and magazines. Click here to find out more about this and other treasures of the Society.

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