General Archives


Jewish Collections (Treasures Tuesday 31 August 2010)

The Society of Genealogists Special Collections of family history research notes include some remarkable Jewish genealogical collections. These are mostly pedigrees and genealogical research notes on Jewish families compiled by genealogical scholars Sir Thomas Colyer Fergusson, Albert Montefiore Hyamson, Isobel Mordy and Ronald James D’Arcy Hart. Click here to find out more about this and other Treasures of the Society.

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Peerage Claims (Treasures Tuesday 24th August 2010)

The Society of Genealogists has hundreds of Peerage Claims within its document collection. We have selected one Peerage Claim that is a particularly good read as it is shrouded in scandal! Click here to find out more about Peerage Claims and other treasures 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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Rent Books (Treasure Tuesday 17th August 2010)

Most of our collections contain various financial documents including rent books. This week we focus on an Irish rent book from the 18th century. Click here to find out more about this and other Treasures of the Society.  

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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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