Family History News Archives


The Society of Genealogists Family History Show workshop programme  at Who Do You Think You Are ?Live 2010 has now been published on the Show website

The workshop timetables show when the Society of Genealogists experts, local societies and exhibitors will be speaking. There are talks for every level of interest in family history.

Tickets are free at the show but some advance boookings are avalable from the show website at £2 each.

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The Competition Commission has published an issues statement as part of its inquiry into the anticipated acquisition of Friends Reunited Holdings Limited (Friends Reunited) from ITV by Brightsolid Group Limited (Brightsolid).

The Commission has been asked to decide whether the acquisition may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition (SLC) within any market or markets in the UK. Brightsolid, which runs websites Find My Past.com and 1911 Census.com, and Friends Reunited, which owns Genes Reunited.com, are two of the three largest suppliers of online genealogy services in the UK. These websites allow users to search and access historical information and documents such as census results, birth, marriage and death records, and also supply family tree software.

The issues statement follows the first stages of gathering information, views and evidence and identifies clearly for all interested parties the specific questions and areas the inquiry is examining. This will form the basis for hearings with Brightsolid and Friends Reunited.

The full issues statement is available on the Commission’s website

The issues statement should not be seen as implying that the inquiry group (the Group) has identified any competition concerns—the Group has yet to reach any conclusions on this inquiry. The purpose of making the issues statement public is to inform all interested parties and give them an opportunity to raise any further points with the CC.
If the Group considers that the merger has resulted or may be expected to result in an SLC, it will consider whether and, if so, what remedies might be appropriate, taking into account any customer benefits that might arise from the acquisition, and will issue a notice of possible remedies, should this be required, at about the time it publishes its provisional findings.
The Commission is expected to report by 16 April 2010 and would like to hear comments on the issues statement from any interested parties, in writing, by 6 January 2010.
To submit evidence, please email anne.jolly@cc.gsi.gov.uk or brightsolidfriendsre@cc.gsi.gov.uk or write to:
Anne Jolly
Inquiry Manager
Competition Commission
Victoria House
Southampton Row
LONDON
WC1B 4AD

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New BBC Family History Show on Tracing Missing Friends and Relatives

The Society of Genealogists has received news that an independent TV  company is looking for participants for a new BBC family history TV show which will help trace missing friends and relatives.

Do you want to track down a missing relative, loved one or close friend but don’t have the resources?

Or perhaps your genealogical search has gone cold and you don’t know where to turn?

untitled1 New BBC Family History Show on Tracing Missing Friends and RelativesHelp is at hand in the form of “trackers” who will be filmed as part of a new BBC primetime television programme.
The TV team, with expertise in genealogy and people finding, may be able to help you find your missing person or lost contact.

If you need their help then please contact RDF Television

Email: trackers@RDFTelevision.com or Tel: 0207 751 7304

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The next big talking point amongst family historians, and which may well see divided opinions, is the Ministry of Justice consultation paper on the Government’s six options for the proposed changes to the edited Electoral Register for England and Wales.

A PDF of the consultation paper can be down loaded through the following link to the Ministry of Justice Website.

The edited register, sold by local authorities to various organizations and commercial companies, is used by genealogists largely engaged in tracing living people. This can include professionals and those heir hunters engaged in probate/intestacy and legal cases as well as hobbyists looking for cousins and one-name studies. Access to the register by genealogists is usually through commercial directory companies such as 192.com (and hence Findmypast) who make the edited register available online.

The Society would be interested in hearing opinions from members before drafting the SoG response in time for the February deadline. Anyone wishing to comment can contact  the Genealogist direct on genealogy@sog.org.uk or use the comments facility below.

The issues will again revolve round the balance drawn between the right of the individual to privacy against the use of publicly available data by family historians.

The paper sets out 6 policy options for consideration and comment  as listed below and gives relatively full arguments for and against each. Details can be found in the paper.

Options abolishing the Edited Register

Option 1: Abolish the Edited Register as soon as practicable.

Option 2: Set a timescale or ‘trigger point’ for abolition of the Edited Register.

Option 3: Abolish the Edited Register as soon as practicable, but extend access to the Full Register for other purposes to be decided in light of the consultation.

Options retaining the Edited Register

Option 4: Retain the Edited Register, but impose restrictions in legislation on who can purchase it and for what purposes.

Option 5: Replace the current ‘opt out’ provision with an ‘opt in’.

Option 6: Improve guidance for the public about the Edited Register.

Else Churchill, Genealogist

Society of Genealogists

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The National Archives Announces Catalogue and Documents Online Updates

Updates from TNA

For those who couldn’t attend the recent (and excellent) Catalogue Awareness Day, The National Archives has announced the completion of various cataloguing projects and gives some information on various new and ongoing projects on it website.

Details of some of the completed cataloguing projects including the addition of the surnames of the parties in C11 Chancery Pleadings 1714-1758 or the conversion of many of the old supplementary finding aids can be found on the catalogue projects pages of TNA’s website .

TNA has some interesting projects on the go including the cataloguing of some of the  MH 12 Poor Law Unions Correspondence with the Poor Law Commissioners and the cataloguing of Royal Navy Medical Officers Journals. See TNA’s website for details.

Also of note are the new additions to  TNA’s DocumentsOnline  service of  the Royal Navy logs of ships on exploration.  There are 164 volumes of logbooks of the Royal Navy’s voyages of scientific discovery, from series ADM 55, now available to search and download.

The Pacific, the Arctic, Australia and beyond.
Mostly kept by naval captains, masters, lieutenants and masters’ mates, these volumes offer a first-hand account of the day-to-day activities of the exploration party, giving a picture of life aboard ship. The information in the logs and journals was used by the Hydrographic Office to produce charts and other data.

Many famous officers kept logs held in this collection, including James Cook, William Bligh and Matthew Flinders. Covering numerous areas across the globe, the records were made between 1757 and 1861, except those of the ‘Morning’, which were made in 1904.

Climate change research
The logs also include scientific information gathered during a voyage and detailed daily accounts of the weather they encountered.  The meteorological observations in these logbooks have become a very valuable source of climatic information for scientists today and have therefore been digitised as part of the UK Colonial Registers and Royal Navy Logbooks (CORRAL) project, funded by the Joint Information System Committee (JISC).

It usally costs £2.00 to download a log book or journal from DocumentsOnline, at home but you can download the index of ships within catalogue reference ADM 55 free of charge. Documents online can of course be searched free of charge at TNA, Kew or in the Society of Genealogists’ Library.

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