Family History Archives


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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Was your ancestor in the British Army?

If so the Society of Genealogists’  family history library may contain details about his time in service. Our collection includes copies of Soldiers’ documents from 1760-1900, a run of the Army Lists from 1740 onwards, many records from the First World War and a good collection of regimental histories to shed background information on what his regiment was doing.

Now the Society’s Members Area has added a new resource to help you in your family history research. Member Nicholas Newington-Irving has gone through the Society’s library collections noting references to Military people mentioned in Journals, local and family histories etc.

The resulting index only includes biographical articles relating to individual soldiers (therefore the contents of works such as the army lists are not included) but it may lead you to information you would not otherwise have found. It relates primarily, but not exclusively, to commissioned officers in the British Army and the pre 1947 Indian Army.

The shelf mark for each item is given but if a visit to the library is not possible a photocopy of the article can be ordered through the Society’s ‘Search and Copy’ service.

A free basic search in the index can be made by going to the Members’ Area and entering the surname you are interested in into the ‘Quick search’ box. To view the full reference you will need to be a member of the Society.

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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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Find your ancestors in the 17th century

The Society of Genealogists’ family history library has a large number of resources to help you find your 17th century ancestors.

The protestation oath returns of 1642 are one such type of record. The protestation was an oath of allegiance to the King and the established church. A bill was passed in Parliament in July 1641 requiring those over the age of 18 (normally only men) to sign the protestation, and no one was allowed to hold office in the church or the state unless they did so.

A letter was sent by the Speaker of the House of Commons to the Sheriffs of each county, instructing them and the Justices of the Peace to take the protestation. The incumbents of each parish then read it to their parishioners who were also asked to take the oath. This took place in February and March 1641/2, after which the returns were sent back to Parliament.

The 1642 Protestation Oath Return for the city of Coventry has recently been added to the Members’ Area of the Society’s website. The return (which also includes some hamlets and villages surrounding the city) lists 1451 men over the age of 18. At the end are the names of those who have not taken the oath, including two men identified as Papists.

The original returns are kept in the House of Lords Record Office and the Society would like to extend their thanks to Eben W Graves of Norwalk, Connecticut for allowing his transcript to be placed on the Members’ Area.

The Society’s library also contains returns for many other parts of the country.

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Was your ancestor poor?

If so the Society of Genealogists’ family history library may contain records relating to their life.

One particularly useful type of record for tracing poorer ancestors is the Settlement Examination. Under the laws of settlement which were introduced by the Poor Law Act of 1601, people were only entitled to claim poor relief in their legal place of settlement (ie. The parish where they had been living for at least one month).

After the Settlement Act of 1662, people could obtain a settlement in any parish through marriage, apprenticeship, domestic service for over a year or by occupying property worth more than £10 per annum. Anyone not fulfilling these criteria was liable to be removed to their original parish.

After 1697, poorer people had to carry a settlement certificate with them to show that their parish of legal settlement would take them back if necessary. If they requested poor relief, the parish they had moved to would examine them to see where their legal right of settlement lay. The resulting settlement examination books are a rich source for researchers.

The entries might include details of a person’s birthplace and working career as well as the names and ages of dependent children. They may also include details of their recent whereabouts and other incidental detail about their life.

Recently a name index to the Settlement examination books for 1708-1750 for St Martin in the Fields, a large parish in Westminster, has been added to the Members’ Area of the Society of Genealogists website. These books have been indexed by a group of dedicated volunteers at the Westminster Archives Centre, and Society of Genealogists’ volunteers have helped with the project by typing up some of the index cards.

Search the index for 1708-1731 or 1732-1750. If you find an entry relating to your ancestor you can order a photocopy of the original from Westminster Archives for £4.00 by clicking here (quoting full reference)

The Society is most grateful to Westminster Archives for permission to include this index on the Members’ Area.

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