London Genealogy Archives


banner1 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 thumb Society of Genealogists taking part in The Great British Story   Bexley 23 June 2012 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.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 bbc.co.uk/showsandtours/events or by calling 03709 011227

 

Please note the SoG does not have tickets for this event

 

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Book of the Month – April

The Society of Genealogists’ Book of the Month for April is My Ancestors were Londoners, by Cliff Webb. Now in its sixth edition, this perennially popular title continues to be an invaluable aid to family historians who come across Londoners during the course of their research. A large proportion of the population has always lived in the London area, so the chances of finding a Londoner in your tree are certainly high! Throughout the month of April, My Ancestors were Londoners is available to members of the society for £6.47, or £7.19 for non-members. This book, along with the full range of Society of Genealogists publications, plus many others, is available from our bookshop and online at www.sog.org.uk

Offer ends 30/04/12

 

 

 

 

An Index of London Schools and their Records

The addition of  the London School Admissions and Discharges records, 1840-1911 to the Ancestry website provides the opportunity to remind researchers and family historians of Cliff Webb’s Index of London Schools and their Records, published by the Society of Genealogists. The book lists educational establishments covered by the old London County Council alongside available records of genealogical interest, and is a useful tool for anyone researching London schools and those who attended them. An Index of London Schools and their Records is available at £8.95 (10% discount for SoG members) from the society’s bookshop and online at www.sog.org.uk.

 

Nunhead Cemetery Open Day – 21 May 2011

 The Society will be present at the Nunhead Cemetery Open Day again this year.  We will be manning a small stall, with leaflets and a selection of Society publications.

The Open Day runs from 11a.m. to 5p.m. and admission is free.  There will be guided tours of the cemetery and visits to the chapel and crypt (which are not normally open), as well as various stalls, plant sales, refreshments and a choir in the chapel (!)  See the Friends of Nunhead Cemetery website for further details (www.fonc.org.uk).  If you have not been to Nunhead Cemetery before, it is well worth a visit.  We look forward to seeing you there!

 

 

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London Metropolitan Archives invited representatives of the London genealogy community to attend its first Family History Forum at the archive on 20 April 2011. This was attended by the Genealogist from the Society of Genealogists, and representatives from the Federation of Family History Societies, North West Kent FHS, London, Westminster and Middlesex FHS, East Surrey FHS, and the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain. The meeting was chaired by Deborah Jenkins (Assistant Director: Heritage).  Society of Genealogists report on London Metropolitan Archives Family History Forum

A lot has happened in the London archive community recently with the Guildhall Library, Archives and Art Gallery having been amalgamated with the London Metropolitan Archives bringing effective control of 3 services under the Corporation of London. The recent partnership with Ancestry.co.uk to digitise records sets of genealogical, social and local significance has very much changed the nature of the service provided by the archives. The forum was called to update the family history community on issues affecting LMA.

CUTS

Sadly, though perhaps inevitably in the current climate, the first item on the agenda was a statement by David Pearson (Director: Libraries, Archives and Guildhall Art Gallery Department) about the requirement for the department to make savings of 15.9% in its budget for 2011-12. Having been consulting users via the LMA website and drop in meetings since March the department is now pretty much ready to decide how it will make these savings. Yes it will mean reduced opening hours, fewer Saturday openings and compulsory redundancies amongst the staff.

As this procedure is still in process we have no news yet of how much expertise or resource will be lost from the archive and this must clearly be unsettling for staff. The new online catalogue has meant a 30% increase in the number of document ordered and delivered at the archive (some76,000 over the year with nearly 90% of them delivered within 20 minutes). There were 29,000 visitors – all be it 6% drop on the previous year. It will be interesting to see how after the cuts LMA can continue to provide services to such numbers or continue to receive the high satisfaction feed back it currently receives via user surveys or its leading 4* position under TNA’s archive assessment scheme.

Essentially LMA will close on Fridays and will be open only one Saturday a month. This will take place from November after the stock taking week, having given a suitable period for notice etc for staff. To compensate in some way for this LMA will be introducing longer opening hours on Wednesdays making late night opening to 7.30pm on Tuesday -Thursdays. A significant number of people had asked LMA not to close on the same day as other major repositories. (Both TNA and SoG are closed on Mondays) making it possible to do some research at least in London on this day. The number of researchers on Saturdays has been falling dramatically and it will be reviewed in a year whether to continue to open on Saturday. So this means if you want LMA to remain open on Saturdays it’s a case of use it or lose it.


DIGITISATION

Charlotte Shaw (Head of Collections and Systems) provided an overview on the last two years partnership with Ancestry.co.uk to digitise and make available significant LMA collections. Phase one of the project is progressing steadily with C of E parish registers, Board of Guardian Records, School and Nonconformist registers having come on stream. In the next few months the diocesan wills formerly held in LMA and Guildhall will be online and indexed with electoral registers up to 1965 and City of London Freedom records to follow.

Stage two of the project is seeing negotiations with the various city livery companies to allow the deposited records from the Guildhall to be digitised and made available. This will not include those livery company records retained by the companies themselves. 2012 will see the inclusion of the City & Tower Hamlets Cemetery records and some Session Records.

Questions were raised about omissions in the digitised records and misattributions. It was made clear that some older films NOT created by LMA itself were OMMITTED from the Ancestry project as they were not of suitable quality. Also films were digitised only when LMA had copies of the original records and permission from the authorities for their use. LMA seemed unaware of the problems of the mis-attribution of some of the sources supposedly included by Ancestry.co.uk. The SoG Genealogist promised to provide a link to some comments on this information.

Miriam Silverman (Ancestry: UK Content Manager) followed up with more information about the future projects. Ancestry’s scanners continue to process records at LMA. They are currently working on the Guildhall and LMA Collections of Poll Books and the Overseas Returns. The London wills number nearer 400,000 which a much larger number than had initially been thought to exist. A broader spectrum of records will include parish confirmations, Middlesex transported convict records, Surrey Marriage Bonds and Allegations, London Land Tax and London Poll books though they will also be including the Guildhall’s copies of poll books for places outside London. It is hoped that most of the records will be indexed with a pilot of the early poor law records under way through Ancestry’s World Archives Projects that allows volunteers at home to index images of the records made available to the community.

There was discussion about the updating and improvements made to any mistakes or omissions in the indexing or transcription of records. Work is being done to identify and amend any problems across collections in addition to using the correction and amendment procedures already made available to users of the Ancestry site. Essentially any one who has discovered errors and problems should let LMA and Ancestry know about it.

NEW ACCESSIONS

Nicola Avery (Principal Archivist, Archives Systems) provided a list of some of the new accessions recently acquired by LMA. Some of which were made available to view in the conservation room after the meeting. These include records for several churches and religious institutions, a copy of a missing interment register for Darenth Assylum and an accumulated register of the City of London School 19000-1920. LMA is currently negotiating the deposit of the registers of All Hallows Barking by the Tower – one of the last 2 city parishes to deposit its records.

PUBLIC ROOMS

In addition to some of the statistics mentioned above Tim Harris (Head of Access and Buildings) reported on issues relating to the physical care of the building. One significant point to note is that a service lift is to be refurbished between November and December which will affect the production of records. If anything it might be better to avoid making a visit in this period and certainly give lots of notice using the advanced ordering facility on the online catalogue. One interesting point to note from the results of the user survey is that for the first time the percentage of users reporting their interest as genealogical was down to 60% with 40% saying they had other reasons for using the record office.

The next meeting of the LMA User forum will be in September. In the meantime anyone interested in receiving information about new and events from LMA can sign up for the electronic newsletter