New Online Military Records on Ancestry & Family Relatives are Free in SoG Library

A number of new military databases have been published and are avalable to view free of charge in the Society of Genealogists Library

In partnership with The National Archives, Ancestry.co.uk has now made available online the entire collection of British Army World War One Service Records, 1914-1920, detailing the full military careers of more than two million soldiers who served during World War One.

The following are now available to search on Family Relatives:
Anzac Roll of Honour 1914-1919
Artist Rifles
Commissioned Sea Officers of the Royal Navy 1660-1815
New Zealand Roll of Honour
Waterloo Roll Call
British Naval Biographical Dictionary, 1849
Royal Air Force List – 1920
Royal Air Force List – 1922
Royal Air Force List – 1929
Charterhouse Register 1872-1910 NEW DATABASE!
Tasmanian Nurse’s War Record 1914-1918 NEW DATABASE!
Tasmanian War Record 1914-1918 – Roll of Honour NEW DATABASE!
Indian Army List 1939 NEW DATABASE!
Peninsula Medal Roll 1793-1814 NEW DATABASE!
De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour 1914-1918 NEW DATABASE!
List of the University of Cambridge 1914-1918 NEW DATABASE!
Army Lists NEW DATABASE!
Army List 1798 NEW DATABASE!
Army List 1810 NEW DATABASE!
Army List 1819 NEW DATABASE!
Army List 1824 NEW DATABASE!
Army List 1827 NEW DATABASE!
Army List 1831 NEW DATABASE!
Army List 1836 NEW DATABASE!
Army List 1840 NEW DATABASE!
Army List 1842 NEW DATABASE!
Army List 1846 NEW DATABASE!
Harts Army List 1850 NEW DATABASE!
Harts Army List & Militia List 1857 NEW DATABASE!
Harts Army List & Militia List 1858 NEW DATABASE!
Harts Army List & Militia List 1865 NEW DATABASE!
Harts Army List & Militia List 1868 NEW DATABASE!
Harts Army List & Militia List 1868 Version 2 NEW DATABASE!
Harts Army List, Militia List & Indian Civil Service List 1879 NEW DATABASE!
Harts Army List, Militia List, Yeomanry Cavalry List & Indian Civil Service List 1888 NEW DATABASE!
Official Army List 1888 NEW DATABASE!
Officers of the Army and Marines 1816 NEW DATABASE!

Military Records World War I

Army
Royal Navy
Soldiers who died in the Great War
Military Records World War II
Royal Air Force

Both Ancestry and Family Relatives can be searched for free at the SoG library

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The GRO has announced that the digitisation of GRO’s births, marriages and deaths records is moving forward and a new project, called the Digitisation and Indexing (D&I) Project, has been initiated.

The new project covers the digitisation of the records themselves together with indexing and upgrading the online certificate ordering process. No information is given about what information is likely to be included in the new indexes nor does it look as if the digital images of certificates themselves are likely to be made available online under the current legislation.  In the age on digital online delivery of information it seems unbelievable that these records will only be available as certified paper copies.

However the annoucement does say the the future online index will be free to use thus complying with the statutory obligation to provide free access to the birth, death and marriage indexes.

We will have to wait and see how this will affect the business of the commercial online index providers. No timetable is given for the project and the free fiche indexes will remain in various libraries until the index is online.

It appears this project will complete the GRO’s ill fated EAGLE enterprise and finally enable the so called MAGPIE to fly. It remains to be seen how this is project brought to fruition but any progress must be welcome.

A set of Q&As on the Identity and Passport Agency website outlines information about GRO’s digitisation project

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It’s always worth checking what research has been done before on the family history you are researching.

The SoG collects printed and published family histories as well as unpublished material in typescript or manuscript form. Family histories and pedigrees can be found all over the library and here are some top tips and guideance to help you search in the Society of Genealogists Library.


Search SoGCAT (the Society of Genealogists’ Library Catalogue) www.sog.org.uk

Use the browse & subject search facility eg SMITH (SURNAME) Double click OR tick box and click view. You should now have a list of all the Society’s holdings for published printed or bound material related to the name along with the references you will need to find the items in the Library.

Please note we have not catalogued all surnames names in every book in the library, only those with at least three generations of narrative family history are listed. Information on families will of course be located in sources for the places where they lived or what they did. You will also need to search other materials in the library as outlined below.

The Catalogue lists the printed and bound works on the Family History Shelves in the Upper Library
The Society of Genealogists library has an extraordinary amount of family history research notes within its collections. Thousands of bound family histories and biographies have been deposited on the Family History Shelves in the Upper Library. These are arranged largely in alphabetical order and cross referenced  by surname on the catalogue.

Check bibliographies listing what’s been published
There are major bibliographies which list printed or published family histories – often in periodicals and topographical works as well as dedicated genealogical publications. These bibliographies can be found on the quick reference shelves at the Middle Library Enquiry Counter and are listed in the reading list below. The Society will have many of the works cited in these works.

Further reading. Some of thes titles have been published in facsimile form in CD ROM or may be found on Google Books)

The Genealogist’s Guide by G W Marshall
A Genealogical Guide by J B Whitmore
The Genealogist’s Guide by G B Barrow
A Catalogue of British Family Histories by T R Thomson
Scottish Family History by M Stuart
Scottish Family A Histories held in Scottish Public Libraries by J P S Ferguson
Bibliography of Irish Family History and Genealogy B de Breffny
Bibliography of Irish Family History by E MacLysaght

Look at the Society’s Manuscript Research Notes in the Lower Library
The Document Collection contains thousands of unique miscellaneous manuscript research notes arranged by surname. These are available in the archive section of the Lower Library where you will find a list of all the surnames represented. This list of the surname represented in the Document collections is also on the Society’s website  (not the catalogue). The Special Collections also contain notes on families including thousands of roll pedigrees. All the Special Collections are listed and indexed in the card index in the Lower Library. The surnames in the roll pedigrees (but not all the other collections) are also listed in the SoG’s website. The collections themselves are also in the archive area but some have been filmed.

Birth Briefs and Members Interests
SoG members can submit birth briefs showing their ancestry back to their 32 great, great grandparents. The bound birth briefs and an index are in the Upper Library. Members can submit slips showing the names they are researching. The slips are in the Upper Library. The surnames represented are listed on the Society’s website

One Name Studies
Some genealogists try to trace everyone with a particular surname. The Family History shelves contain many listings of entries from the Civil Registration Indexes to birth, death and marriage records. and these can be found through the SoG Library Catalogue The Register of the Guild of One Name Studies (GOONS) can be found at the Middle Library Enquiry Counter and online on the Guild’s website.

Peerage and Royalty and Biography
Titled families are listed in Burke’s Family Index and in Frank Leeson’s Directory of British Peerages. Pedigrees of European royalty and nobility are listed in F R Price’s Guide to European Genealogies Exclusive of the British Isles. These titles can be found on the Peerage and Royalty shelves in the Upper Library along with standard reference works on the Peerage, Landed Gentry and other biographical works.

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The Society of Genealogists Special Collections contain a variety of interesting resources for family historians. Amongst the treasures in the Society’s Library are the Coleman’s catalogues and index

 
 
James Coleman was an heraldic and genealogical bookseller and publisher in London in the second half of the 19th century.  He aimed to obtain a constant supply of documents and books from various sources which were listed for sale in his catalogue which was produced on a regular basis between 1859 and 1911. He also published Coleman’s general index to printed pedigrees (1866).
 
As a second hand dealer he sold marriage settlements, wills, rent rolls, peerage claims, private and local Acts of Parliament, appeal cases, pedigrees, deeds, autograph letters, maps etc. as well as new and second hand books on heraldry, topography and biography.  His catalogues give brief details of the items for sale.
 
The Society has bound copies of his catalogues which were given to us in 1915 as part of the Snell Collection. The catalogues come under the heading of “printed ephemera” and it is rare for such a long and complete run to survive.  A card index of nearly 50,000 names appearing in the catalogue descriptive entries was compiled in 1936. Taking that as a starting point the Society, through its volunteers, is now undertaking to expand the index to include, where stated, the year, the county and sometimes the parish or place where the person lived. This could prove most useful for placing a family in a particular area and time.  It has, however, to be borne in mind that the original documents  listed in the catalogues are now unfortunately either no longer in existence or are in private hands.

The illustration here is of the front cover of a catalogue for 1865.

Colemans cat4 653x1024 Society of Genealogists Special Collections   Colemans Catalogues and Index

Coleman's Catalogues at the Society of Genealogists

Coincidentally, the item offered at the bottom of the page – the original burial register of Mr Roger’s Meeting House, Collier’s Rents, White Street, Southwark – was given to the Society in 1993 by one of our members. Having been photocopied and transcribed, the original was donated to the Southwark Local Studies Library. Also illustrated is a sample page from one of the catalogues.

David Horwill & Sue Gibbons, 2009

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190,000 Welsh Wills Online – Free to View at National Library of Wales

News from the National Library of Wales – 190,000 Welsh Wills Online
The National Library of Wales has good news for family historians, social historians … and the inquisitive! Over 190,000 Welsh wills (some 800,000 pages) have been digitised and are now available on the Library’s website or direct on our online catalogue and are free to view.

Wills which were proved in the Welsh ecclesiastical courts before the introduction of Civil Probate on 11 January 1858 have long been deposited at The National Library of Wales. An online index and an opportunity to view digital images of these wills within the Library building has been available for sometime, however, remote users are now also be able to view the digital images.

Amongst the collection is the will of Twm Siôn Cati alias Thomas Johnes, Fountaine Gate, Caron (SD1609-20), this year being the 400th anniversary of his death. The will of Howell Harris, the famous Welsh religious reformer can also be seen (BR1773-51).

As well as being a fabulous source of information the National Library’s online wills offer the ability to view all 193,000 wills free of charge, a service few other similar institutions are able to offer. Whilst most institutions charge readers to view their documents, the Library only charges for providing copies of them.

In addition to the images of the Welsh wills anyone can request a printed copy of any will by completing the online enquiry form quoting the reference number of the will e.g. BR1773-51.
The covering dates of the surviving probate records are available for the following ecclesiastical jurisdictions:

Bangor: 1635 – 1858
Brecon: 1543 – 1858
Chester (Welsh wills): 1557 – 1858
Hawarden: 1554 – 1858
Llandaf: 1568 – 1857
St Asaph: 1565 – 1857
St David’s: 1556 – 1858

At the moment no digital images are available for Hawarden, Brecon or St Asaph pre 1660.
The Society of Genealogists Library  has long held printed indexs to the Welsh wills proved in many of the Welsh Courts and  the indexes are listed on the SoG website website  and library catalogue.

This online resource from the National Library of Wales will suplement the references in these indexs.
A link to the National Library of Wales website  http://cat.llgc.org.uk/cgi-bin/gw/chameleon?skin=profeb&lng=en

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