Society of Genealgists membership Archives


Announcing “Start Your Family Tree Week”-  26 Dec 2010 – 1 Jan 2011

 The holiday season between Christmas and New Year is a great time to statr your family history. Families will have come together and the stories have come out.  Serious family historians will have time to use that new genealogical software and update their family trees.

Family history websites findmypast.co.uk and Genes Reunited are getting together to launch the first “Start you family tree week” in the UK.  From Boxing Day 2010 right through to New Year’s Day there’ll be special offers and activities available every day on both websites, including free getting started guides, printable charts, discounts, competitions, and lots more. This new initiative has the support of the Society of Genealogists and the Federation of Family History Societies. It is anticipated that further partners and websites will become involved, with the aim of getting more people of all ages to discover more about their family history over the Christmas period.

Look out for the “Start your Family History” week promotions on the SoG website   and newsblog  where the Society of Genealogists will make available  downloadable pdfs of our 10 tips for starting your family history, a 4 generation pedigree chart and updated Start your Family History Information leaflet

Debra Chatfield, Marketing Manager of findmypast.co.uk commented: “We know from our customer surveys that Boxing Day is one of the most popular days of the year for people to research their family history. With the family gathered around for the festivities, it’s the perfect time to quiz the older generations on what they remember about the family, and get the youngsters inspired too about this rewarding and fascinating hobby.  And with many people not working between Christmas and New Year, you’re more likely to have time on your hands to get down to some serious record searching.”

Details of what’s on offer each day will be posted every day from Boxing Day onwards on the findmypast blog http://blog.findmypast.co.uk/ and Genes Reunited blog http://blog.genesreunited.co.uk/

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Was your ancestor an apprentice?

The Society of Genealogists is delighted to publish My Ancestor was an Apprentice by Stuart Raymond. This new book is full of help and  advice for researchers wanting to access and use apprenticeship records in England, beginning with their origins in Medieval London. My Ancestor was an Apprentice is available at £8.99 from the Society of Genealogists bookshop, and online at www.sog.org.uk

Genealogists will be delighted that Ancestry.co.uk  has just launched  the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations),1861-1941 - an index to more than six million wills proven across the 19th and 20th centuries .

A free information leaflet for using wills as part of your family history can be found on the Society of Genealogists website

 ‘Probate’ refers to the court’s authority to administer a deceased estate, including granting representation to a person or persons to administer that estate.

In 1857, the Court of Probate Act saw the power to administer estates transfer from the church to the state and it is the probate calendar books, in which grants are summarised and collated annually by the state, that are now on Ancestry.co.uk. Note there are some gaps in the coverage of the calendars found on Ancestry’s site but they hope to add the missing volumes when they get the chance. Currenty the following  are not covered : 

“the books for the years 1858-1860 and there are some gaps for the years 1863, 1868, 1873, 1876, 1877, 1883, 1888, 1899-1903 and 1910-1911″
 

 

In addition to the material value of the estate, probate calendar books provide a rich source of information for family history enthusiasts as each entry may also include the name of the deceased, the date and place of death, the name of the executer and, in some cases, bequest recipients. The calendars lokk like this

Included in the index are numerous famous names such as once-rich polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, who died in 1922 leaving an estate of just £556 (£20,000 today), having lost his fortune in failed money-making schemes while allegedly trying to recapture the adventure of his youth.

Fittingly, the anti-capitalist Karl Marx died in 1883 almost as poor as Shackleton, leaving just £250 (£23,000 today) to his youngest daughter Eleanor.

In contrast, Thomas Holloway, a man who made his fortune selling medicines and ointments, left one of the largest estates in the index, worth £600,000 in 1883 – the equivalent of £55 million today.

Anyone able to locate an ancestor in the England and Wales National Probate Calendar, 1861-1941 will be able to delve further into that person’s life, learning more about their social standing and worldly possessions.

As more than two million living Britons claim to know of a wealthy ancestor or a lost fortune in the family, for the first time many of us will now be able to go online and trace our own family’s missing millions.

Individual entries may also reveal details about the fate of the deceased. Perhaps unsurprisingly, that of Edward John Smith, captain of the ill-fated Titanic, reveals that he was ‘lost at sea’, as do the listings of first-class passengers Benjamin Guggenheim and John Astor, and ship’s builder Thomas Andrews.

Other notable names include:

  • Charles Darwin – the acclaimed naturalist Charles Robert Darwin is listed as having left a personal estate worth £146,911 (around £13 million today) when he died in 1882
  • John Cadbury – the ‘King of Chocolate’ John Cadbury died with a personal estate of £43,773 (around £4.2 million today) when he died in 1889
  • Charles Dickens – the famous Victorian author Charles John Huffham Dickens died leaving ‘effects under £80,000’ (around £7.1 million today) when he died in 1870

Also included are legendary cricketer W G Grace (in 1915 with £7,278 – £620,000 today), former Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain (in 1940 with £84,013 – £3.5 million today), scientist Michael Faraday (in 1867 with £6,000 – £500,000 today), and authors Lewis Carroll (in 1898 with £4,145 – £450,000 today) and Arthur Conan Doyle (in 1931 with £63,491 – £3,000,000 today).

Those using the England and Wales National Probate Calendar, 1861-1941 can obtain a full copy of the wills listed from the Probate Registry,  (address on the SoG information leaflet on Wills) which will help them to uncover further information such as details of the deceased’s family and additional detail about the estate.

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New Family Relatives Navy Dataset available free at Society of Genealogists

Family Relatives tell us they just digitised the most comprehensive online collection of Royal Navy Lists  covering intermittent years from 1847- 49, 1882 and 1913-1945.

More than 2 million names are included in the Lists which date from the mid – 19th Century (or the Eleventh Period in Navy History) when Britain was involved in a number of conflicts.  Regular readers at the SoG will be familiar with the Navy Lists of Officers as the Society’s run of these books goes back to 1756. These records of commissioned officers of the Royal Navy dating back 163 years have been published online for the first time by Familyrelatives.com

The Royal Navy has played a central role in Britain ’s history for centuries. It is the oldest of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces and is the Senior of the three Services. Founded by Henry VIII a professional and national naval force was in existence when King Charles II came to the throne in 1660.  At the time he inherited a huge fleet of 154 ships and it was the beginning of the Royal Navy as we know it today.

British ships and sailors were symbols of the nation’s dominance until the 20th Century but this dominance was driven not only by great naval supremacy and naval leaders but by Britain ’s industrial advance and technology which helped to shape the future of warfare. From the beginning of the 19th century until well into the 20th century it was the most powerful navy in the world at a time when Great Britain was the world’s only superpower.

The Navy List runs like a catalogue of history – The Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny, the occupation of Beijing and Egypt all of which involved the supply of troops and the protection of troop transports and much later conflicts such as the Boer War and the forcing of the Dardanelles in the First World War.

The Navy Lists contain the details of all Royal Navy and Royal Marine commissioned officers on the Active List of those serving at the time of publication. It was said that every Captain in the Navy had a copy of the list as he was always anxious to know the exact status and seniority of other officers he met.

The information covers every aspect of both Royal Navy and Royal Marine officers whether Active, Retired or on the Reserve Lists, from the date they entered the Service. The List of appointments range from navy and marine cadets to Admirals of the Fleet. Masters and Commanders are featured alongside Physicians, Paymasters and even wounded officers. There is even a section on officers dress regulations, awards and decorations. An important part of the records is the Lists of Ships in the Navy with their Commanders and Officers names as well as Commissioned Packet Ships and Revenue Vessels, together with captured prize ships and their bounties.

For example the 1934 List of Ships and Vessels includes Submarines of the Royal Navy, also the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy arranged in their various classes, their Officers and present Stations. The lists also include RAF Units for Naval Cooperation which was extensive at the time.

The following detailed information is also disclosed:

The type of ship and where deployed, the Displacement Tonnage, the indicated horse power or shaft horse power and the main armament.  (This excludes field guns and machine guns used by the navy as an auxiliary land force as in the siege of Ladysmith).

The Name and first names of Officers is shown with an initial denoting his qualification for duties i.e. G for Gunnery duties, T for Torpedo duties, N for Navigating duties, S for Signalling Duties, W/T for Wireless Telegraphy duties, or I paid as an Interpreter. The dates shown are the dates of first appointment to a ship and where two dates are shown for a Marine Officer, the date in brackets indicates when his current sea time commenced.

 

An example of the search results screen for the Navy List search on Family Relatives can be seen below

FamilyRelativesNavyListsearch1934 thumb New Family Relatives Navy Dataset available free at Society of Genealogists

Family Relatives is one of the free genealogy websites available in the Society’s Library

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Join the Society of Genealogists at Who Do You Think You Are? Live stand 1025

Special Show Offer. £10 off Membership Subscriptions!!

The Society will be waiving its joining administration fee (usually £10) for anyone who wants to become a member of the SoG at the Society of Genealogists Family HistoryShow which is an integral part of Who Do You Think You Are? Live at Olympia February 26-28 2010. 

This means your first year’s UK subscription will be £45 instead of the usual £55 (£27 for overseas members instead of £37). In addition we are including a free 2G SoG usb memory stick as a welcome present to all our new members – perfect for downloading or backing up your family history files. Hurry while stocks last.

Come and see the SoG at stand 1025 where you can fill out the membership application form and meet our staff and volunteers.

SoG Stand 2009 300x225 Join the Society of Genealogists at Who Do You Think You Are? Live stand 1025

Society of Genealogists at Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2009

Infomation about membership benefits can be found on the Society of Genealogists Website

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