NEW MERCHANT SEAMEN RECORDS ONLINE and FREE at the Society of Genealogists

banner1 NEW MERCHANT SEAMEN RECORDS ONLINE and FREE at the Society of Genealogists

 

Leading family history website www.findmypast.co.uk has today released online for the first time Merchant Seamen records from the 19th century in association with The National Archives of the United Kingdom.

 

* First time that 19th century merchant navy records are available online

* UK merchant seamen records from two centuries now searchable at findmypast.co.uk

 

359,000 records of individuals covering the years 1835-1857 have now been added to the website. Details contained within the records can vary, but can include name, age, place of birth, physical description, ship names and dates of voyages. Often this information can be given in the form of coded entries which can easily be deciphered using downloadable finding aids from The National Archives.

The records are taken from volumes held at The National Archives in series BT112, BT113, BT114, BT115, BT116 and BT120 and were created by central government to regulate the merchant shipping industry. As the series spans two decades, some individuals may appear in multiple series, making it possible for maritime historians or those with ancestors in the merchant navy, to trace a seaman’s service over time.

Janet Dempsey, Maritime Expert at The National Archives commented:

"These records are as significant to the social historian as they are to the family historian. No other group of working class men and women had the freedom of movement and ability to see the world as these 19th century mariners.

"This was the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen’s earliest attempts at keeping individuals records and resulted in four different registers over twenty two years. Although more of a challenge to work with than other family history sources, it can be very satisfying to decipher the codes and have your investigative efforts rewarded with sometimes surprisingly rich detail."

In 2011 findmypast.co.uk published Merchant Navy Seamen records from 1918-1941 in association with The National Archives, some of which include photographs.

Debra Chatfield, family historian at findmypast.co.uk added: "The Merchant Navy Seamen records will be of great interest to family historians worldwide, as so many of us have generations of ancestors, who made their living at sea. These records will add more detail to our mental picture of their lives."

All the Merchant Navy Seamen records at findmypast.co.uk can be searched for free from the Education & Work section of the website. Transcripts and images can be viewed either with PayAsYouGo credits or a Full Subscription.

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The SoG has been asked to pass on this call for anyone interested in history and
genealogy to act as participants for a web usability study. The study take
place in central London on Tuesday the 22nd and in central Manchester on
Thursday 24th November. The SoG can’t disclose full details of the research but
we can assure you that it’s bona fide.

The study will be exploring an online service for searching an extensive collection
of records held across a range of archives. People often find taking part in
such usability studies interesting and rewarding. By taking part in this study
you will not only get a chance to explore a developing online search facility,
but will be able to actively help improve the service for researchers like
yourself.

You don’t need to be an experienced researcher to take part and if you know anyone
else who might be interested please pass the message on.

The session will last for one hour and there will be a cash incentive for taking
part.

If you are interested, please answer a few questions about yourself here:

http://www.surveymk.com/s/5KRGLXL

For more information about the study, please contact Dr Andrea Fallas, andreaf@cogapp.com

For more information about the organisation carrying out the research, please
visit www.cogapp.com

Else Churchill

SoG Genealogist

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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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The Society of Genealogists is pleased to announce the forthcoming President’s Lecture in celebration of the Society’s 100th anniversary.

On the occasion of the Society’s Centenary, Patric Dickinson takes the opportunity to offer some reflections on the many changes that have taken place in the world of genealogy during the fifty years since Sir Anthony Wagner’s lecture ‘Genealogy and the Common Man’ (given as part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations in 1961), a period that has witnessed the growth of family history from a hobby enjoyed by a small minority to a popular activity pursued by millions of people worldwide. Patric Dickinson cuts the cake at the Society of Genealogists Centenary Gala Dinner thumb Society of Genealogists Presidents Centenary Lecture   Genealogy: Our Favourite Insanity

With Patric Dickinson, LVO, MA, FSG, Clarenceux King of Arms and President of the Society of Genealogists

Venue: The Swedenborg Society, 20-21 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2TH

Tuesday 18th October at 7pm . Buffet & Wine . Tickets: £17.50*

Online booking at www.sog.org.uk (events & lectures section).

 

Alternatively contact our events co-ordinator on:
020 7553 3290 or email: events@sog.org.uk

14 Charterhouse Buildings, Goswell Road, London EC1M 7BA
Tel: 020 7251 8799
Fax: 020 7250 1800

 

*Ticket price includes a donation for buffet & wine.

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Findmypast (sponsors of the Society of Genealogists’ centenary year and host of some 9 million names from the SoG online Library Collections)  have had a busy time recently. The Society has received the following update of new ventures and online family history records relating to the British in India.

Selections from the India Office Records and a century of electoral registers will be made online

The British Library and family history website www.findmypast.co.uk are to digitise a treasure trove of family history resources held by the Library, making them available online and fully searchable for the first time.

The project will involve the scanning of UK electoral registers covering the century that followed the Reform Act of 1832, along with records of baptisms, marriages and burials drawn from the archives of the India Office. When available online, these collections will enable historians, genealogists and family history researchers to make connections and track down details of ancestors and others at the click of a mouse – work that would previously have necessitated visits to the Library’s Reading Rooms and many hours of laborious manual searching.

The British Library holds the national collection of electoral registers covering the whole of the United Kingdom.  The registers contain a vast range of names, addresses and other genealogical information.
“Digitisation of the electoral registers will transform the work of people wishing to use them for family history research,” said Jennie Grimshaw, the Library’s curator for Social Policy and Official Publications. “Printed electoral registers are arranged by polling district within constituency and names are not indexed, so the process of finding an address to confirm names of residents is currently incredibly laborious. Digitisation represents a huge breakthrough as users will be able to search for names and addresses, thereby pinpointing the individuals and ancestors they’re looking for.”  
The other holdings included in the large-scale digitisation are drawn from the archives of the East India Company and the India Office. These records relate to Britons living and working in the Indian sub-continent during the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries, up to Independence in 1948. They include over 1,000 volumes of ecclesiastical returns of births, marriages and burials, together with applications for civil and military service, and details of pension payments to individuals.

Antonia Moon, curator of post-1858 India Office Records said, “These records are an outstanding resource for researchers whose ancestors had connections with British India, whether as servants of the administration or as private inhabitants.”
The partnership between the British Library and findmypast.co.uk followed a competitive tender process and will see five million pages of UK electoral registers and India Office records digitised over the next year. The resources will become available via findmypast.co.uk and in the British Library’s Reading Rooms from early 2012; online access will be available to findmypast.co.uk subscribers and pay-as-you-go customers – access to users in the British Library Reading Rooms will be free.

Simon Bell, the British Library’s Head of Licensing and Product Development, said: “We are delighted to announce this exciting new partnership between the British Library and findmypast.co.uk, which will deliver an online and fully searchable resource that will prove immensely valuable to family history researchers in unlocking a treasure trove of content that up to now has only been available either on microfilm or within the pages of bound volumes. The Library will receive copies of the digitised images created for this project, so as well as transforming access for current researchers, we will also retain digital versions of these collections in perpetuity, for the benefit of future researchers.”

Elaine Collins, Commercial Director at findmypast.co.uk, said: “We’re very excited to be involved with this fascinating project. The electoral rolls are the great missing link for family historians: after censuses and civil registration indexes, they provide the widest coverage of the whole population. To have Irish and Scottish records alongside England and Wales is also a huge advantage. These records will join the 1911 Census, Chelsea Pensioner Service Records and many more datasets available online at findmypast.co.uk, which enable people to make fantastic discoveries day after day.”

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