10 million Cheshire Records published on Findmypast and free at SoG

 

Just a quick note to let you know that Findmypast have released 10 million new Cheshire records today.

The Cheshire Collection is an extraordinarily rich and comprehensive set of records provided by Cheshire Archives and Local Studies.

These records are essential to anyone with Cheshire roots or connections, as they cover not just the Church of England but also Roman Catholic and Non-Conformist registers, and, moreover, extend well beyond these core records of baptism, marriage and burial to a variety of other records giving biographical details for the residents of the county.

These records span the period 1538-1910. These records contain:

Find more information about these records here

 

Findmypast is available free at the Library of the Society of Genealogists and members of the Society received discounts on subscriptions to the site

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Society of Genealogists’ Boyd’s Marriage Index now available on Genes Reunited

The SoG’s famous marriage index compiled by Percival Boyd comprising some 7million names is now available on Genesreunited

Percival Boyd

Boyd’s obituary published in the Genealogists’ Magazine Vol 12 p61 (June 1955) says he was born in 1866 but he was actually born on 29th June 1868 at St Paul’s, Haggerston, into a family of London merchants and warehousemen. He was educated at Sutton Valence Grammar School, Uppingham School and Clare College, Cambridge, where he received his MA in 1894. After leaving university he became a partner, chairman and managing director of the family firm in Friday Street, off Queen Victoria Street, in London. He became a liveryman of the Drapers Company in 1893, Master in 1926 and senior member of the Court of Assistants. In his spare time he was a member of the Cyclists’ Touring Club, the Royal Philatelic Society and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.Centenary008. Percival Boyd thumb Society of Genealogists’ Boyd’s Marriage Index now available on Genes Reunited

Boyd joined the Society of Genealogists in 1922 and was made a Fellow in 1926. He served on the Executive Committee for 22 years from 1927-49, with a one-year gap in 1932 due to ill health, and was its Chairman from 1929-31 and 1938-40 and Vice-President from 1949 until his death.

Boyd’s Marriage Index

The Marriage Index was first announced to members in the Genealogists’ Magazine for September 1925 in an article entitled “An index to marriages”. It covers the period 1538 to 1837 with a few events dated earlier and one or two parishes continued later. Sources were transcripts of marriage registers – some borrowed from the transcriber for the purpose and then returned – bishop’s transcripts, marriage licences and banns registers.

After Hardwicke’s Marriage Act, all nonconformist marriages from 1754 to 1837, except those of Quakers and Jews, should have taken place in a parish church of the Church of England. In all, the index includes marriages from parts of over 4,320 parish registers and some Quaker marriages.

Theoretically, the index only covers England but there are some irregular marriages in Scotland relating to people from Holy Island 1776-1812 in the Northumberland and some marriages further afield in the extracts from the Gentleman’s Magazine 1731-1768. Entries taken from the Faculty Office Marriage Licences could also extend beyond England.

The information given for each entry is standardised and consists only of the year of marriage, names of partners and place of marriage or source of information such as ML or Gents. Mag. Where one partner is a long way from home Boyd indicates this and makes an entry in the home volume.

Entries for 16 of the best-covered English counties were typed into the Main series and entries for other counties and those taken from marriage licences were bound into a Miscellaneous series. At Boyd’s death in 1955 he had amassed approximately a further 1/4 million slips which he bequeathed to the Genealogical Society of Utah. They covered the full period from 1538-1837 and all English counties, including information compiled from marriage licences such as those at Wells. The GSU put this series of slips into strict alphabetical order and typed them up and this became the Second miscellaneous series which is NOT available online.

All told, there are approximately seven million entries in the index as a whole and it is estimated that this covers between ten and 15 per cent of pre-1837 English marriages. The best coverage is for the earlier period up to 1754 or 1812. Although the index bears Boyd’s name and he himself did, or paid to have done, most of the work, other members were involved in the project – both at the time and since his death.

Cambridgeshire – most of the marriage registers in the county before 1812, including BTs from Ely, were transcribed by the Reverend Evelyn Young. Writing in Nov 1935, the year before his death, he said that he had then “copied approx 130,00 Cambs marriages”. Those supplementing his work for the period 1801-37 were compiled by Thomas Peter Roysse Layng in 1977.

Durham and Northumberland were largely the work of Herbert Maxwell Wood, FSA. Very few of the index entries go beyond 1812. In Durham two go down to 1826 and three to 1837 and in Northumberland three parishes are covered to 1814 and one to 1818. Herbert Wood died in 1929.

Gloucestershire was indexed by Eric Arthur Roe, TSG, and includes entries from BTs as well as registers. Many of the entries for Bristol parishes and one or two other places are extracts only but half a dozen or so parishes are included down to 1875. From 1876-1926 only marriages for Great Rissington are indexed. Roe’s slips were typed up by the GSU in 1958.

Yorkshire – all of the indexing for Yorkshire was done by Norman Hindsley before he emigrated to Calgary in Canada.

Since Boyd’s death a number of other genealogists and family history societies have indexed marriages in their own counties by using unpublished original as well transcribed registers but his amazing pioneering work is still one of the largest and most impressive indexes of its kind.

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Support the Society by becoming a Friend

Now that the Society of Genealogists has celebrated its centenary anniversary, attention is turning on securing its future. The Society now has many commercial competitors but our unique material enables us to stand out from the crowd. This uniqueness needs to be made readily available in order to retain and attract members.

One way of improving accessibility and awareness of the Society’s unique records and family history documents, is to make them available online. This is a mammoth task, as the family history document collection alone consists of over 950,000 documents that will need to be individually catalogued, scanned and uploaded.

With membership fees just about covering the daily running costs of the Society, there is little left over for updates like digitisation, new collections and binding.

This is why we launched the Society’s Friend initiative…

Become a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum Friend and you will be helping to secure the Society’s future whilst also benefiting from exclusive Friend benefits, for example, dedicated Friends lectures and special visits to historic landmarks accompanied by trustees and senior staff.

Click here to download a Friends donation form.

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railway worker sized for amazon thumb My Ancestor was a Railway Worker   understand the new railway records on Ancestry.co.ukThe Ultimate UK Train Spotters’ Archive is now online and the Society of Genealogists book My Ancestor was a Railway Worker: a guide to understanding records about railway people can help you use this remarkable family history resource. Available from the Society’s online bookshop the author, Frank Hardy FSG, himself a former railway civil engineer, gives broad picture of the the railway industry handling passengers and freight in Britain and explains the terms and phrases that occur in Victorian and Edwardian staff records. He explains what your railway ancestor did and the records that can be found.  I’m delighted to say that many of these records are now available online.

In partnership with The National Archives the newly digitised historic records documenting the history of the British rail service through the lives of its employees  have been published on Ancestry.co.uk and are available free to use in the Society of Genealogists’ Library.

Two million railway employment records detail the people who made the Industrial Revolution possible

Records hark from a time when ‘Train Driver’ was one of the most coveted careers

Accident books reveal how dangerous the rail service was and caution records show how staff were reprimanded for mistakes

Details from the ‘big four’ companies; Great Western Railway, London, Midland and Scottish Railway, London and North Eastern Railway and the Southern Railway

In a world-first, Ancestry.co.uk,  in partnership with The National Archives, today launched online the Railway Employment Records, 1833 – 1963,a historic collection containing the employment-related records of British railway workers dating back to the invention of the locomotive in the early 19th century.

Billed as the ultimate train-spotters’ collection, the records tell the story of how the rail service grew during the Industrial Revolution and shows staff striving to ‘make it’ as one of the most desirable professions of the Victorian era – a train driver.

The collection of 1,998,159 records goes into intricate detail, listing not only name, home station and date of birth of the employee, but also information on their career progression, salary increases, rewards, fines or suspensions for misbehaviour and notes from superiors on the worker’s character and behaviour.

The records date from 1833, a time when the Great Western Railway,engineered by Isambard Kingdom Brunel,was in its infancy and the Stockton & Darlington line (opened in 1825) had been running for a little under a decade. By the middle of the 20th century, the entire rail network encompassed 6,000 stations and covered over 21,000 miles of track, with its development widely hailed as the primary catalyst for Britain’s industrial growth.

While today many young people aspire to be professional footballers or actors, during the rise of the railways, the role of ‘Engineman 1st Class’ (train driver) was one of the most coveted jobs available to the masses. As a result, men would join the service as labourers, cleaners or attendants and work their way up, often taking 20-25 years before controlling their own train.

However, unlike today’s dream jobs, the role hardly delivered fame and fortune, with the average wage of a train driver in the late 19th century standing at around 8/- a day – equivalent to around £10,000 a year today.2

Working in the railway service in the 19th century was also extremely dangerous as the country got to grips with this ‘new technology’, which is shown in the lists of injuries and fatalities documented in the archive going online today. Prior to 1900, there were approximately 98 major accidents resulting in hundreds of fatalities and over 2,000 serious injuries, all recorded by safety staff in meticulous detail.

With stakes so high, the rail companies introduced a series of strict reprimand systems whereby staff members were punished for behaviour that was deemed irresponsible or dangerous. These varied from minor fines (often of a shilling or two) to major disciplinary actions where the worker would be suspended without pay or fired.

Examples of misdemeanours found in the records include workers being ‘inebriated’ while at an engine, drivers demoted for running red signals and staff fighting amongst themselves whilst on duty.

At the same time, rail workers were actively rewarded for taking action that prevented possible accidents, with the good deed marked in red ink on their personal records and rewards of up to two weeks wages issued. As a result of this system and the advancement of rail safety, the early 20th century rail service became a safer place to work (and safer for passengers too).

The rail networks were brought under government control for the first time during WW1 but were returned to private ownership immediately afterwards when the bulk of the system was in the hands of the so-called ‘big four’ – the Great Western Railway, the London, Midland and Scottish Railway, the London and North Eastern Railway and the Southern Railway – all of whom have thousands of former employees listed in this collection.

During WW2, the companies had to join together to operate as one as the war effort put a severe strain on the railways’ resources and created a substantial maintenance backlog – part of the reason why the government brought the rail service into the public sector in 1945.

In fact, the majority of employment records in this collection date around this period (1947), although a number date up to 1963.

 

This database includes indexed images of employment-related records from a number of historic railway companies in England, Scotland, and Wales.

image My Ancestor was a Railway Worker   understand the new railway records on Ancestry.co.ukWhat is included?

All of the railways included in this database were once private companies that later came under authority of the British Transport Commission with the 1947 Transport Act. The collection features selected records from the following companies:
•RAIL226: Great Central Railway Company
•RAIL264: Great Western Railway Company
•RAIL397: London and North Eastern Railway Company
•RAIL410: London and North Western Railway Company
•RAIL411: London and South Western Railway Company
•RAIL414: London, Brighton and South Coast Railway
•RAIL415: London, Chatham and Dover Railway Company (formerly the East Kent Railway)
•RAIL426: London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company
•RAIL463: Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway Company
•RAIL491: Midland Railway Company
•RAIL1156: Special Collections: Retired Railway Officers’ Society

Approximately 50% of the books cover the Great Western Railway, while the books covering the London and North Western Railway are more dense with records. Most records are prior to 1949, though some date later.

What can I find?

The most common record type in the database is a staff register. Others include station transfers, pension and accident records (which can include death date), apprentice records (which can include father’s name), caution books, and memos.

Records will typically list an employee’s name, station, position, birth date or age, and various other details, such as salary, date entered service, and transfer information. For example, caution books list offenses employees were written up for and include name, date, grade, station, years of service, and date of suspension if applicable. Salary and wage registers list name, name of person recommending an employee for a position, date of appointment, salary or wage, dates of pay raises or decreases, age at the time the employee joined the railways, promotions, and remarks, which can mention transfers to different stations.

Records can be searched by name, birth year, event year, station, or company. Or they can be browsed by volume. In the browse, unless otherwise identified, the books are staff registers.

What is missing?

There are 58 pieces excluded from this collection for privacy reasons.

RAIL 264 Great Western Railway Company: Staff Records •Pieces 412, 413, 440, 442, 443, 471-522
RAIL 397 London and North Eastern Railway Company: Staff Records •Piece 13

There are currently 6 sections missing from these records. They will be added to the database at a later date.

RAIL 264 Great Western Railway Company: Staff Records •Piece 328: Register of weekly staff No.6 London District 1905-1913
•Piece 416: Birmingham District 1898-1913
•Piece 415: London Division 1896-1906
•Piece 417: Chester Division 1898-1909
•Piece 438: Register and histories of traffic staff at stations in Wales 1872-1892
RAIL 426 London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company: Staff Records •Piece 4: Register of scale advances (adults other than 5th grade) 1941 – 1946
Ancestry.co.uk International Content Director Dan Jones comments: “These records shed light on what it must have been like to work on the railways in its early years – a dangerous job with strict rules and severe reprimands for error, but with the promise of reaching that highly coveted role as an engine driver.

“The level of detail within the records is also staggering, which means family history enthusiasts can gain a real insight into their ancestor’s character – be it through records of promotions and rewards or perhaps punishments and demotions.”

Caroline Kimbell, Head of Licensing at The National Archives, said: “The Railway Employment Records are one of the largest and earliest archives of civilian trades in the UK. The records reveal fascinating stories about life on the railways from their early, dangerous beginnings to their heyday as a key component of Britain’s Victorian infrastructure, and reflect the significance of the railway companies as huge employers in both towns and country. Many families will find railway ancestors here, and the level of detail in these records make them a valuable online resource for historians and rail enthusiasts alike.”

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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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