General Archives


SoG online data update. Bank of England Wills index and images now on Findmypast

The Society of Genealogists’ collections of Bank of England Wills Abstracts is now available online of www.findmypast.co.uk

Previously only the index to these remarkable records was available online and the Society undertook a copy service to provide the records. Now excellent quality images of some 60,523 will abstracts for the period 1717-1845 can be viewed drectly online with the index.

The Bank of England Wills index and images will shortly also be published exclusively for SoG members on our website www.sog.org.uk . Look out for an announcement when these ecords are published on MySoG.

For more information about the Bank of England Will abstract online visit the findmypast website

 The SoG has received the notice of the following record release  from Ancestry -

 An online archive revealing historic values of London’s famous landmarks is published today for the first time – Ancestry.co.uk

  •  Bank of England, Fleet Street and St Paul’s Cathedral found in records
  • Average London property in 1910 valued at just £14,000, compared to £430,500 today1
  • Homes of famous dramatist Sir W.S. Gilbert and scientist William Crookes uncovered

 

Ancestry.co.uk, the UK’s favourite family history website2, has launched online for the first time the London, England Land Tax Valuations 1910, revealing the historic values of some of the capital’s most famous streets and landmarks from just over a century ago.

These valuations were originally compiled in 1910 from across the UK as part of David Lloyd George’s 1910 Finance Act, later known as the ‘Domesday Survey’, which was introduced as a means to redistribute wealth through the assessment of land value. BankofEngland 110000 thumb London 1910 Land Tax Valuation published on Ancestry   free at the Society of Genealogists Library

 

As well as listing the owners and occupiers of a property, the records also detail the address, property value and annual rental yield for properties in early 20th century London, providing vital information about Britain’s epicentre at the time.

The records reveal a stark contrast to today’s housing market, with the average 1910 property carrying a price tag of just £14,000 – almost 3,000 per cent less than today.3 

Of particular interest are the values of famous landmarks included in the collection, such as the Bank of England; worth a mere £110,000 in 1910, the Old Bailey; worth just £6,600, and Mansion House; which contrastingly was valued at an impressive £992,000. St Paul’s Cathedral also features, but without a valuation as it is listed as ‘exempt’ from tax.

Famous streets include the media-hub Fleet Street, which according to the records was even then home to numerous newspapers including the Liverpool Courier, Yorkshire Evening News and the Newcastle Chronicle. A property on Fleet Street cost an average of £25,000 in 1910, compared to £1.2 million today.4

Surprisingly, buildings on law-dominated Chancery Lane were worth very little (around £11,000) a century ago, compared to £1.1 million today. The rapid disappearance of family homes in the City over the last century has also led to a drastic change in the average house value, particularly evident on Cannon Street, where a home costing £20,000 in 1910 would today set you back a staggering £2.2 million.5

As well as famous landmarks, the records also include some of the notable names of the era, such as:

 Sir W. S. Gilbert – An English dramatist best known for his comic operas, including The Pirates of Penzance, H.M.S. Pinafore and The Mikado, and allegedly an inspirational figure to Oscar Wilde. Gilbert is listed proprietor of three properties on Spring Street in Paddington

  •  Sir William Crookes – A scientist who worked on spectroscopy, a pioneer of vacuum tubes, and famed for being one of the first scientists to investigate ‘plasmas’. He is listed in the records as living at 16 Newcastle Street, London

The records provide a valuable snapshot of land ownership at the start of the 20th century and will enable those with ancestors in the collection to discover more about their respective financial situations and the lives they led a hundred years ago.

Ancestry.co.uk International Content Director Dan Jones comments: “These records are especially useful as a census substitute for people tracing their London ancestors who may not have been captured in the England and Wales 1911 Census.

“The collection offers a fascinating insight into our capital at the beginning of the 20th century – a time when Britain was on the verge of major social, political and economic change.”

 The collection complements the extensive census records, ranging from 1841 to 1901, already online at Ancestry.co.uk which is availeble free of charge  at the Society of Genealogists Library.

 

1. An audit of more than 300 randomly selected records from the Greater London area in the collection revealed the average London property value in 1910 was £14,115 (rounded to £14,000). According to the BBC UK the average UK house price for July-September 2010 Greater London was £430,483. Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/in_depth/uk_house_prices/regions/html/region10.stm

2. Source: Based on market share of visits among all UK websites in the Hitwise Lifestyle – Family industry, 2009.

3. A rise from 14,000 to 430,500 is an increase of 416,500, or 2975 per cent, or almost 3,000 per cent.

4. An audit of randomly selected records from Fleet Street, Chancery Lane and Cannon Street found the average values for property on these streets in 1910. These were contrasted with property prices found on leading UK property website www.nestoria.co.uk for December 2010.

5. See footnote 4.

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Society of Genealogists shut for New Year and Closed Week – reopens Tuesday 11 January

The Society of Genealogists will be closed from 4pm Thursday 30 December and will reopen to members and the public on Tuesday 11th January at 10am . Bookshop  and events orders can still be placed online and will be dispatched during the week commencing 11 January 2011.

During the first week of January the Society will be working on various projects in the library and stocktaking. Our first lecture when we reopen in the New Year will be on Wednesday 12 Jan at 11.30 with Tim Lawrence speaking on Using the Society of Genealogists’ Members Area Website and outlining the new developments for SoG data in the future.  Tickets for this lecture are free but can be booked online via the SoG online shop

However there is still plenty for all those who have taken part in Start Your Family Tree WeekStartYourFamilyTreeWeekimage thumb Society of Genealogists shut for New Year and Closed Week    reopens Tuesday 11 January.

Each day from Boxing Day until New Year’s Day, findmypast.co.uk, sponsors of the Society of Genealogists’ Centenary Year have giving you a helping hand on your journey into your past. Look at their website for the Start Your Family Tree Week daily hints, tips and activities to help you research your family tree.

Look at the findmypast  website for the Start Your Family Tree Week daily hints, tips and activities to help you research your family tree. Discover some of the great prizes the Society of Genealogists, findmypast and other partners are offering for family historians throughout the week including*  :-

  • A day tracing your family tree with famous genealogist, Else Churchill at the Society of Genealogists in London – using the resources of the SoG and looking at aspects of their research. The prize includes return travel by train to London from within the UK and two nights’ accommodation in London for the winner and a guest
  • 1 free membership of the Society of Genealogists in our centenary year
  • 1 ticket to a day course at the Society of Genealogists, London: ‘Family History for Beginners and Refreshers’ with Geoff Swinfield on Saturday 5 March 2011.
  • Society of Genealogists‘ publications
    • 1 x My Ancestor was an Agricultural Labourer by Ian Waller
    • 1 x My Ancestors were Londoners by Cliff Webb
    • 1 x My Ancestor was an Apprentice by Stuart Raymond
    • 1 x My Ancestor was in Service by Pamela Horn
    • 1 x My Ancestor was in the British Army by Chris and Michael Watts
  • A free start your family history beginners session at the Society of Genealogists with community officer Ashley Young who can help anyone start using computers and get the most from free online resources at the Society of Genealogists Library, such as findmypast.co.uk and other online family history sites usually only available on pay-per view or subscription

Make it your New Year’s resolution to carry on researching your family history – imagine what you can show your family next year.

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Society of Genealogists and Start Your Family Tree Week

All the talk of family  history  stories around the Christmas dinner table makes the festive period the perfect time to focus on building your family tree. The Society of Genealogists has been helping family historians for 100 years and is delighted to support Start Your Family Tree Week 26 December –1 January. Follow this link for our free information leaflet  Start Your Family History with the Society of Genealogists with all the useful web links and guides to sources you need;  follow our Ten Tips for Starting Your Family History or keep the kids occupied with the challenge to record their family tree on our 4 Generation Pedigree Chart and Quiz.

Each day from Boxing Day until New Year’s Day, findmypast.co.uk, sponsors of the Society of Genealogists’ Centenary Year will be giving you a helping hand on your journey into your past. Look at the findmypast  website for the Start Your Family Tree Week daily hints, tips and activities to help you research your family tree. Discover some of the great prizes the Society of Genealogists, findmypast and other partners are offering for family historians throughout the week including*  :-

  • A day tracing your family tree with famous genealogist, Else Churchill at the Society of Genealogists in London – using the resources of the SoG and looking at aspects of their research. The prize includes return travel by train to London from within the UK and two nights’ accommodation in London for the winner and a guest
  • 1 free membership of the Society of Genealogists in our centenary year
  • 1 ticket to a day course at the Society of Genealogists, London: ‘Family History for Beginners and Refreshers’ with Geoff Swinfield on Saturday 5 March 2011.
  • Society of Genealogists‘ publications
    • 1 x My Ancestor was an Agricultural Labourer by Ian Waller
    • 1 x My Ancestors were Londoners by Cliff Webb
    • 1 x My Ancestor was an Apprentice by Stuart Raymond
    • 1 x My Ancestor was in Service by Pamela Horn
    • 1 x My Ancestor was in the British Army by Chris and Michael Watts
  • A free start your family history beginners session at the Society of Genealogists with community officer Ashley Young who can help anyone start using computers and get the most from free online resources at the Society of Genealogists Library, such as findmypast.co.uk and other online family history sites usually only available on pay-per view or subscription

 Start Your Family Tree Week image Society of Genealogists and Start Your Family Tree WeekMake it your New Year’s resolution to carry on researching your family history – imagine what you can show your family next year.

The Society of Genealogists would like to wish all our friends and members a very happy Christmas and  all the best for 2011 the SoG Centenary Year

*A complete list of prizes  for Start Your Family History Week and terms and conditions can be found here

If the winter weather has prevented you from getting out to do your Christmas shopping then order your favourite family historian a year’s membership of the Society of Genealogists via our online shop

Full details of all the Benefits of membership of the Society of Genealogists – the UK’s largest family history society can be found on the Society’s website but here are the highlights

Benefits of Membership:
Free access to the Society’s remarkable Family History Library

Free access to the Society’s online data  via the  Member’s Area of the Society’s website

Free access in the Library to several pay-per-view or subscription web sites
The Society has made arrangements with a number of pay-to-view or subscription web sites to provide free access from the Library.

Free, expert help and advice on genealogical problems
The Society provides a specialist family history telephone advice service, regular one-to-one advice half hour advice sessions with experts at the Society’s library, and an online mailing list.

Free Genealogists’ Magazine per year in March, June, September and December.
The Magazine is full of information including articles, a full list of the Staff Members, Library Updates, Notes and News of the Society and advice on people who can help with research.

Member’s Discounts
Member’s discount of 10% on courses and lectures,

Member’s 10% discount on Society Publications,

Member’s 20% discount on short specific searches when using the LIbrary Search & Copy Service

Members can obtain 20% extra pay-per-view units or 10% discount on subscriptions to findmypast.com by using the special members’ codes available by email from the Membership Office.

Borrow material from the Library
Members resident in the UK can (with some restrictions) , borrow books and microfrms from the Library

Join the Society of Genealogists here

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