Family History Archives


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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The Genealogists’ Magazine is the flagship publication of the Society of Genealogists distributed free quarterly to all members. Here Else Churchill the Genealogist at the Society interviews Michael Gandy who has been the editor for the last ten years. Sign up to our mailing list below and get a free copy of this quality magazine

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Family History Skills Courses at the Society of Genealogists

Else Churchill, the genealogy professional at the Society of Genealogists explains the content of the three family history skills courses taught at the Society. There are three courses of interest to family historians ranging from the very basics of where to start and up to how DNA can help in genealogy. These courses can be booked at our website www.sog.org.uk and the very latest in family history happenings can be found on our blog at www.societyofgenealogists.com

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