Family History News Archives


The Society of Genealogists is delighted to welcome Tim Lawrence to his new role as Head of Library Services at the Society of Genealogists.

Tim is well known to staff and Society of Genealogists members as the former Deputy Librarian and has been a valued member of SoG for some years.  Tim and the rest of the library team will ensure the Society of Genealogists Library remains the UK’s premier National Library and Education Centre for Family History serving genealogists around the country and indeed around the world.

TimLawrence thumb Society of Genealogists appoints new Head of Library Services to premier UK family history library

Tim carried out his professional library training at the University of Brighton, where he was awarded a first class honours degree in Information and Library Studies.

He has worked at the Society for 12 years, the last 7 as Deputy Librarian, during which time he has gained a wide ranging knowledge of its unique family history library and archive.

A member of the Society in the early 1980s,Tim has been researching his own family history for more than 30 years, tracing them back to 16th century Lancashire. His wide ranging expertise has always been valuable

On his appointment Tim commented that he was looking forward to the challenges of his new role, particularly bringing the Society’s unique resources to a wider audience through the digitisation of some of its collections.

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Index of Catholic nuns 1598-1914

A recent addition to the Society of Genealogists’ Members Area is an index of Catholic nuns covering the period 1598-1914.

In the reign of Henry VIII (1509-1547) all religious houses of women and men were closed. There was a small revival under Queen Mary (1553-1558) but at her death the few nuns who wished to remain so went abroad.

In 1598 a congregation of specifically English nuns was established in the Spanish Netherlands (modern Belgium). Many more followed and for nearly two hundred years Catholic nuns lived out their lives in the Catholic countries of Europe. Many of their records have been published by the Catholic Record Society and the relevant volumes contain more detailed histories. All these orders were enclosed and the ladies within them lived lives of prayer.

With the advent of the French Revolutionary Wars in 1792 most of these convents were expelled. Fortunately they were able to return to England where Catholicism was now legal.

Nuns 244x300 Index of Catholic nuns 1598 1914

With the great expansion of Catholic numbers in the United Kingdom, and especially of poor urban Catholics from the 1840s, many new Orders came to England from the continent to do active work – mostly teaching or nursing. By 1900 there were over 90 religious orders of Catholic women working in the UK.

In the early 1990s the Catholic Family History Society circulated all the organisations of Catholic religious women working in England to ask about the records of individuals. A great many lists were received and computerised and this index (which lists over 12,000 individuals from about 60 orders) is the result. The Catholic FHS has no further information about the women listed here.

In many cases religious orders had a centralised structure and an archivist for the whole order was able to supply a copy of a complete list. The Carmelites and the Sisters of Mercy, however, had no such central structure. Lists were received from particular houses but not from others.

Note that England, Wales and Scotland, with which this index is concerned, formed a quite separate province from Ireland. This index contains a great many Irish women but they have all joined the English Province, not the Irish Province, of their Order. The cut off date was entry in 1914 so very few women born after about 1895 will be found here. However a very few orders sent later material with permission to incorporate it.

Further information on individuals may well be available from the Religious Order concerned. The address of the current religious superior will be found in the Catholic Directory. Most orders have archivists and many of those are members of the Catholic Archives Society. Many have published articles describing their holdings in that society’s journalCatholic Archives of which the Society of Genealogists has a complete run.

To search the index go to the Members Area.

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Meet the SoG & our Census Detectives Team at the National Family History Fair in Newcastle

The Society of Genealogists will be exhibiting at the National Family History Fair in Newcastle.

Let our Census Detectives Team help you find your missing ancestor

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Was your ancestor a Baptist?

If so ybaptists Was your ancestor a Baptist?ou may find information about them in the Society of Genealogists’ family history library, which holds registers and gravestone inscriptions from many Baptist chapels as well as publications such as the Baptists’ Handbook. The Society has also published a book on how to trace your Baptist ancestry.

Recently however a new resource has been  added to the Members’ Area of the Society’s website to help you in your quest. This lists several thousand births, marriages and deaths occurring in the Baptists’ Magazine from the 18th and 19th centuries.

A significant number of the entries relate to Baptist ministers, deacons and their families, and many women are listed. Some of the entries are particularly useful genealogically eg. Edward Foster’s father and grandfather are shown, together with the year in which they were born. Some of the entries do not appear in the Baptist registers deposited at the National Archives (class RG4), so this may be the only record of a vital event.

Each entry gives a reference to the year of the Baptist Magazine (BM) in which the notice appears. Sometimes (but frustratingly not always) the page number is also given. A complete set of the Baptist Magazine for 1809 – 1890 (except 1856) is held at Spurgeon’s College in South London. The Angus Library and Dr Williams Library also have good coverage of the title.

To search the Baptists’ Magazine index go to the Members’ Area. A basic name search is free but to view the record you will need to be a member.

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Census asks Family Historians to share their stories

Today sees the launch of a new family history page of the 2011 Census website www.census.gov.uk/2011familyhistory 

The idea is to provide members of the public who are keen to delve into their family’s past with easy how-to guides, hints and tips, and give those who are already up to their eyes in second cousins, twice removed, the opportunity to share their experiences with others.


Anyone wishing to offer their census story for consideration can do so via 2011censusfamilyhistory@ons.gov.uk or post their story on 2011 Census Family History on Facebook. The 2011 Census team is also looking for interesting census- related stories to feature in local newspapers, radio and websites. These too can be sent using the family history email address.

The 2011 Census will take place on 27 March 2011 when everyone in England and Wales will be asked to complete and return a census questionnaire. For the first time the questionnaire can be completed online using a unique access code.

The completed paper questionnaires will be scanned and the data digitised, but a ‘photo’ of the handwritten questionnaire will be kept confidential until released after 100 years.

Censuses will also take place on the same day in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

For further information, images and interviews:

Press Hotline: 01329 447654

Email: 2011censuspress@ons.gsi.gov.uk

Visit:

www.census.gov.uk. This will raise the profile of the 2011 Census among the general public. A sample page is available to download at www.census.gov.uk/2011familyhistory.

BACKGROUND NOTES

1. The 2011 Census team is asking genealogy organisations to publish a  2011 Census page on their website, which includes the 2011 Census logo and a link back to

2. A census is a survey of all people and households in the country. It provides essential information from national to neighbourhood level for government, business, and the community.

3. The 2011 Census will take place on 27 March 2011. The census occurs every 10 years and involves everyone in England and Wales filling in a questionnaire about themselves and where they live.

4. Office For National Statistic (ONS) is responsible for carrying out the census in England and Wales.

5. ONS is responsible for gathering and interpreting all the data from the census and turning it into helpful information, as well as using it to estimate the number of people and households in each area across England and Wales.

6. The information provided in the census is confidential and safeguarded by law.

7. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available from the Media Relations Office.

8. National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for official statistics. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference. © Crown copyright 2009

www.census.gov.uk/2011familyhistory along with a Facebook page where amateur genealogists can share their helpful tips for searching census records and discuss their findings.www.census.gov.uk/2011press

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