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2.5 million criminal records to be published online for first time by Findmypast.co.uk

 2.5 million criminal records to be published online for first time by Findmypast.co.uk

FIND ANY VILLAINS OR VICTIMS LURKING IN YOUR FAMILY HISTORY?

Else Churchill, Genealogist at the Society of Genealogists,  can be seen on Sky News on Wednesday 21 February (about 10.30ish) talking about the latest digital release of 2.5 million criminal records to be published online for first time by Findmypast.co.uk.

The biggest collection of historical criminal records from England and Wales is being published online for the first time by leading family history site findmypast.co.uk in association with The National Archives. Access to Findmypast and these records are available free at the Society of Genealogists.

Over 2.5 million records dating from 1770-1934 will be easily searchable and provide a wide variety of colour, detail and fascinating social history, chronicling the fate of criminals ranging from fraudsters, counterfeiters, thieves and murderers and their victims.

 

They contain mugshots, court documents, appeal letters, examples of early Edwardian ‘ASBOs’- where habitual drunks were banned from pubs and entertainment venues -and registers from the prison ‘hulk’ ships, which were used when mainland prisons were overcrowded. One such hulk, the ‘Dolphin’, housed 6,000 prisoners between 1829 and 1835.

 

Amelia dyer 2.5 million criminal records to be published online for first time by Findmypast.co.uk

Police photo of Amelia Dyer after arrest, 1896 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are details of Victorian serial killers including Amelia Dyer, who, between 1880 and 1896, is believed to have murdered 400 babies by strangling them with ribbon and dumping them in the Thames. The records show she was hanged at Newgate Prison in 1896 aged 58.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another particularly gruesome murderer who appears in the Crime, Prisons and Punishment records is Catherine

Kate Webster filtered 2.5 million criminal records to be published online for first time by Findmypast.co.uk

English: Kate Webster (1849? – 29 July 1879), the killer of Julia Martha Thomas (the “Richmond Murder” or the “Barnes Mystery”) Português: Kate Webster (1849-1879), a assassina do “Mistério de Barnes” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Webster, who the records show killed widow Julia Martha Thomas, 55. She pushed her down the stairs, then strangled her, chopped up her body and boiled it. Julia’s head was found in David Attenborough’s garden in 2010. 

The information in the records comes from a variety of Government departments including the Home Office, Prison Commission, Metropolitan Police, Central Criminal Court and the Admiralty. The records from 1817-1931 will be published first followed by the period 1770-1934 in the coming months.

 

Debra Chatfield, a family historian at findmypast.co.uk , said: “We have been eagerly anticipating the launch of these records that provide an amazing opportunity to trace any villains and victims in your own family.

 

“We have painstakingly published online entire registers containing mugshots of habitual drunks that feature incredible descriptions of criminals’ appearances, demeanour and identifying marks.

 

“The newspaper articles that are available on findmypast.co.uk provide unparalleled detail and show how the crimes were reported when they were committed. This supplements the new criminal records and makes searching through as enjoyable as it is easy, whether you are researching your own family history or are interested in social history.”

 

Paul Carter, Principle Modern Domestic records specialist at The National Archives added: “These records span several government series and show the evolution of the criminal justice system in the nineteenth century as the country dealt with the impact of industrialisation, urbanisation and population growth.

 

“They record the intimate details of hundreds of thousands of people, beginning with judges’ recommendations for or against pardons, to petitions through which criminals and their families could offer mitigating circumstances and grounds for mercy, and later, licences containing everything from previous convictions to the state of a prisoner’s health.

 

“As well as the Georgian highway robber, the Victorian murderer and the Edwardian thief, the courts often dealt with the rural poacher, the unemployed petty food thief or the early trade unionist or Chartist. The records are a fascinating source for family, local and social historians.”

 

ENDS

 2.5 million criminal records to be published online for first time by Findmypast.co.uk

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Plans for a new home for The British Postal Museum & Archive

The new Postal Museum will provide access to the BPMA’s unique collections of 400 years of postal, social and design history, including photographs, posters, vehicles, pillar boxes, employment records of millions of people and a world-class stamp collection.

Under a plan endorsed by the Government, the new centre will be established at Calthorpe House, on London’s Mount Pleasant site, where the country’s oldest mail centre is located. It is close to the existing home of the BPMA at Freeling House, which has very limited space for exhibitions and displays.

Royal Mail Group will grant a lease of 999 years for Calthorpe House, a property which will provide a secure foundation for the BPMA once redeveloped and extended. Agreements have been signed with Royal Mail and Post Office Ltd for a £6m long term, low interest loan to fund the conversion of Calthorpe House to meet the basic needs of the organisation. In addition, Royal Mail and POL are providing other support, including a £500,000 grant.

A fundraising campaign by the BPMA will be launched shortly to raise the remaining funds required to create a state of the art museum and visitor facility. The BPMA is an independent charity set up in 2004 to care for two significant collections: The Royal Mail Archive and the collections of the former National Postal Museum. It is the BPMA’s mission to increase public access to these collections, making the story they tell of communication, industry and innovation accessible to everyone.

The new centre will allow the BPMA to exhibit objects from its fascinating museum collection, which is currently held in storage. It will also include educational facilities for visiting schools

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The National Archives is looking for help to trial online community

The SoG has been asked to pass the following request onto the family history community

The National Archives needs you!

The National Archives is looking for volunteers to take part in an online community pilot. They need your help to trial an online community to see if it could help them develop and improve their online services. They’ll be using the community to get feedback on new features and functions they’re developing, as well as creating a space for generating new ideas. As a test they are controlling the number of people who can sign up, so to start with they only need 100 volunteers who will be signed up on a first come, first served basis. They will also keep the community closed so that only members can view and interact with the content. If you are not selected for the initial trial, you’ll be able to join their waiting list – they’ll then notify you if they decide to expand the community and increase the number of members. The trial will run for six months between March and August 2012. If they then decide that the trial has been successful, they will aim to establish a permanent community as part of their package of online services. Please register your interest to take part in the pilot by providing some basic details by clicking on the following link: http://www.dotsurvey.me/b2mand7-4e3ir3b

 

I hope to be taking part in this exercise too so that TNA’s support for family historians can impove.

 

All the best

 

Else

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Irish Archive and Library Reforms Worry Genealogists

The IGRS has issued the following press release and I have to say the the Society of Genealogists most definitely shares their worries –

The Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) is concerned that a so-called merger of the National Archives “into” the National Library could diminish these vital heritage services.

Steven Smyrl, IGRS chairman, says that while the IGRS recognises the need for savings across the board in Irish public services, it is concerned that with two bodies under one director, competition for resources could be fierce.

“The proposed area of control is simply too vast, whether or not, as the Government proposes, both institutions are to retain their separate identities. The Government’s plan is further complicated by reference to the possible sharing of services between the National Library and the National Museum which could dilute the services still further.”

Smyrl acknowledges that there are savings to be made through the pooling of public services resources. “Conservation and administration are just two such areas that immediately spring to mind, but while libraries and museums might appear to be similar they are actually very different service providers.

“Staff trained in the care and control of archive materials require quite different skills to those working in a library and economies of scale will not be found by requiring flexibility from staff to work across borders in the proposed new set-up. It is crucial that specialist knowledge and training be recognised as essential in service delivery at national institutions. The historians, academics, researchers and genealogists using them rely heavily upon the staff’s expertise and knowledge.

“The IGRS welcomes the Government’s initiative to see where savings can be made but advises caution if irreparable damage to public service is to be avoided.“

 

Notes

The Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) is a learned Society established in 1936 in the Office of the York Herald, London. The founding members were deeply concerned at the loss of much material of genealogical value; their priority was to collect copies of materials compiled prior to the destruction of the Public Record Office in Dublin in 1922. The core of the Society’s unique reference library was formed from the personal collection of the Irish genealogist, Father Wallace Clare, the founder of the Society. It has been greatly expanded by subsequent donations from members.

The IGRS aims to promote and encourage the study of Irish genealogy and to collect books and manuscripts of genealogical value.

Contact: igrsoc@yahoo.ie

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Revised opening hours for London Metropolitan Archives

LMA1 Revised opening hours for London Metropolitan ArchivesFamily History News

 

From Monday 14 November 2011 there will be changes to weekday openings at LMA.

imagesCA75ZAAB Revised opening hours for London Metropolitan Archives

 

LMA will close on Fridays, but there will be an extra late night opening on Wednesdays (as well as Tuesdays and Thursdays) until 7.30 pm.

 

 

 

The new opening times are:-

Monday  9:30am – 4:45pm
Tuesday 9:30am – 7:30pm
Wednesday       9:30am – 7:30pm
Thursday        9:30am – 7:30pm
Friday CLOSED

For Saturday openings  and information about visiting the London Metropolitan Archives

please check the LMA website

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