Archive for May, 2012

News from the London Probate Office and updates to post 1858 wills online

I couldn’t attend the recent meeting of the users of the London Probate Registry at First Avenue House as I was teaching at the Society, so I am grateful to SoG Trustee Di Bouglas  for her report of the meeting. It can be read in full on her blog. It’s well worth reading this and her previous post on proposed developments to put the English and Welsh probate calendars online and to digitise SOME of the documents themselves.


Though not fully searchable across all years it seems the eventual online indexes will be free and ultimately up to date.  Finally there is the prospect of an online order facility. It’s clear the service is affected by having the Calendars finally and fully  searchable from 1858-1941 on With no replacement for the current director of the London search room being appointed in the near future, no matter how the service tries to scotch rumours of its closure I find it difficult to believe the Probate Registry at First Avenue House will maintain a public search room for the foreseeable future


Else Churchill


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Special offer from TheGenealogist website

The Society of Genealogists has just received the following announcement from the website TheGenealogist that may be of interest to SoG friends and members.


TheGenealogist website has launched a major release of parish records, directories, poll books, freemen and jubilee records for its subscribers. The site’s user base has swelled dramatically with the launch of the 1911 census and to celebrate TheGenealogist website has announced its time limited special offer of £50 off an annual Diamond subscription, which is valid until the end of September. Just use the code SUMMERSAVER to get the £50 off.



Nearly half a million Parish Records added to a Diamond subscription. These include baptisms, burials, and marriages (including banns) for:

Cornwall – over 100,000 new entries

Durham – over 12,000 new entries

Lincolnshire – over 32,000 new entries

Northumberland – over 81,000 new entries

Staffordshire – over 13,000 new entries

Surrey – over 72,000 new entries

Warwickshire – over 15,000 new entries

Worcestershire – over 130,500 new entries

Yorkshire – over 46,000 new entries


New Directories for Gold and Diamond subscribers:

Bedfordshire 1898 Kelly’s Directory

Berkshire 1915 & 1920 Kelly’s Directory

Berkshire 1920 Kelly’s Directory

Buckinghamshire 1844 Pigots Directory

Buckinghamshire 1915, 1920 & 1931 Kelly’s Directory

Hertfordshire 1862 Post Office Directory

Kent 1862 Post Office Directory

Kent 1895 Kelly’s Directory

Middlesex 1862 Post Office Directory

Oxford 1915 & 1920 Kelly’s Directory

Scottish & International Directories exclusive to Diamond subscribers:

Aberdeen Post Office Directory 1948-49

Glasgow Post Office Directory 1907-1908

East India Register and Directory 1834

East India Register and Directory 1820


A brand new collection launched this month, which currently includes:

Norfolk, Freemen of Norwich 1317-1603

These Freemen were individuals who had earned privileges and the right to work in the city of Norwich. Contains names and occupations of the Freemen.

List of Burgesses, 1875

This book contains a list of burgesses in the borough of Bedford and prominent members of the town. Contains names, addresses and the nature of their property held.


To celebrate the Queen’s diamond jubilee, the following book is now available to all Diamond subscribers:

The Queen’s Reign

The story of the Victorian Transformation – a literary and pictorial review of the period.

For all Premium subscribers (Starter, Gold + Diamond):

The Queen’s Empire

A photographic record of the British Empire in 1899.


Her Majesty’s Glorious Jubilee 1897

A special edition of the Illustrated London News with wonderful colour plates. Contains over 50 colour illustrations.

Sixty Years a Queen

Celebrating sixty years of Queen Victoria’s reign. clip_image002

Details are available in the site’s feature article:

Please feel free to use any content within the article, referenced to


Berkshire, Poll for the Knights of the Shire 1798

Air Force List, April 1918







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BBC looking for photos that tell a great London family story

The Society of Genealogists has received the following request. Can you help?

BBC London is delving into the past with a new series called ‘Your London: Your Place in History’  – looking at how YOU can discover the secrets of your past simply by looking through your family album.

But we need your help. Do you possess a collection of old family photographs? Ever wondered if the pictures might reveal more about WHO your ancestors were, and the life they may have led? kipling11

Maybe it’s a photo of your great-great uncle whose career was to ring the bells at Bow or your aunt – a flapper girl in the ’30s with a colourful life?

You may have been told stories about them by other members of your family but would like the help of our expert photo-historian to see if the pictures hold any more clues about them.

If so, then get in touch –  – And you and your snaps could be featured on BBC London TV.

Please leave a brief description of the photographs you have and a contact telephone number. You must live in London and willing to be filmed. We regret we will not be able to respond to all emails.

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VOTE SoG!! The Society of Genealogists nominated for The 50+ Awards 2012


50plusAwardsNominatedWe’re delighted to say that the SoG has been nominated in the category of best genealogy service provider in the 50+ Awards 2012 and we’re unashamedly encouraging all our members and friends to vote for us – as we are really chuffed to bits.


The 50+ Awards 2012

The 50+ Awards 2012 are organised and presented by the 50+ Show, and are solely based on the internet nominations and votes of those who are aged 50+.

The 50+ Awards showcase the best that life has to offer for those who are 50+.

Following a public nomination phase, shortlists of the most nominated in each category are available on the 50+ website


Voting is now open: Voting closes on 30 June.


We are also told that three lucky voters will be selected at random after the voting closes on 30 June, to receive one of three £50 vouchers.

The winners of the 50+ Awards will be announced and the prizes presented at the 50+ Awards Gala Awards Reception on 13 July at Olympia. For more information on the 50+ Awards, sponsorships and tickets for the Gala Awards Reception visit the 50+Award nominations pages

Thanks for voting.






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Society of Genealogists taking part in The Great British Story – Bexley 23 June 2012

In a new BBC TV series presented by Michael Wood, The Great British StoryBBC_GBSLogo_BBCBlocks (web) looks at history through the eyes of ordinary people, uncovering what life was like for everyday Britons over the last 1600 years. The Society of Genealogists will be taking part in the largest of the local BBC road-shows linking in with the series. Come and meet the SoG and ask us about tracing your family history and get help and advice from Family History Experts, the SoG Census Detectives,  SoG authors and local family historians.
















The Great British Story: Bexley

A free BBC local history event.

Saturday 23 June 2012, 10am – 4pm

Hall Place and Gardens, Bourne Road, Bexley, DA5 1PQ

This is a ticketed event and tickets are  only availlable from the BBC events website.  Apply for your FREE tickets here, or by calling 03709 011227


For map and more information about the Great British Story Events see the BBC website events pages


Now it’s your chance to get involved! Come along to a BBC local history event, discover Bexley’s fascinating history and learn how to delve into your own past. Find out more about family history, archaeology, oral history, artefacts and local heritage.

Find YOUR place in history:

· Listen to historian, broadcaster and writer Michael Wood discussing The Great British Story

· Track down your ancestors with help and advice from family history experts and hear Else Churchill from the Society of Genealogists talk on Finding Your London Ancestors

· Learn how experts conserve and protect treasures from the Museum of London

· Find out how to date your old photos, if you’ve inherited an family photo bring it along to find out more

· Learn how to discover the history of your home using local archive sources

· Discover Bexley’s archaeological treasures and show your own mystery finds to our experts

· Explore the history of Bexley through local heroes, landmarks, working lives and industrial heritage

· Take part in a reminiscence session and share your memories of working in and around the Thames Gateway

· Plus a full programme of talks will run throughout the day

and much more…

The event is open to ticket holders only. Apply for free tickets by visiting or by calling 03709 011227


Please note the SoG does not have tickets for this event


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