The website Connected Histories http://www.connectedhistories.org British History Sources, 1500-1900 brings together 11 major digital resources related to early modern and nineteenth century Britain with a single federated search that allows sophisticated searching of names, places and dates, as well as the ability to save, connect and share resources within a personal workspace. While some of the sites concerned are pay per view or subscription many are free to the Higher Education Community and  all can be searched free by name etc before viewing full entries or images.

 
Amongst the resources are the following data sets that are very family to family historians but which can now be searched across a single portal –

 
connected histories thumb Connected Histories brings together great resources for family history   a thumbs up from the Society of GenealogistsBritish History Online

British Newspapers 1600-1900

The Church of England Clergy Database

London Lives 1600-1900

Origins

The Proceedings of the Old Bailey online

The notes for family historians found on the site are worth reproducing here

Connected Histories – Family history: a research guide

Because the names in all Connected Histories resources have been marked up or tagged, genealogical research using this website is easy and rewarding.

Name-intensive resources

Every resource in Connected Histories includes some relevant information, but the most name intensive resources include the following:

Clergy of the Church of England Database: This database includes information about over 100,000 individual clerics, schoolteachers, and patrons who practiced in England and Wales between 1540 and 1835. The level of detail varies, but in addition to records concerning education and ecclesiastical appointments, some information is provided about births (including birthplace and parents), marriages and deaths. The most complete entries allow one to trace entire careers, as clerics moved from one appointment to another across various dioceses.

London Lives, 1690-1800 and the Proceedings of the Old Bailey Online: Organised explicitly around name searching, London Lives, 1690-1800 provides access to 3.35 million name instances contained in 240,000 pages of manuscript documents about crime, poverty and social policy, as well as fifteen datasets on a wide range of topics. The workspace and set creation functions allow records relating to the same invididual to be connected in sets and the wiki allows for biographies of the best documented individuals to be written. The Proceedings of the Old Bailey Online, whose records from 1674 to 1819 are included in London Lives, 1690-1800, contains over 1.2 million names of people who appeared at London’s central criminal court between 1674 and 1913, as defendants, victims, witnesses, jurors and judges.

Origins.net: A family history website which offers subscription access to a wide range of genealogical records from the United Kingdom and Ireland, many of which are not available online anywhere else. Connected Histories includes abstracts of apprenticeship enrolments from 60 City of London Livery Companies from 1442 to 1850, abstracts of settlement examinations from two London parishes between 1742 and 1868, and abstracts of wills from Surrey and south London, 1470-1856.

British History Online: Several of the sources in this extensive collection include large numbers of names, particularly those from the elite classes. The Calendars of State Papers include information about individual appointments, titles, inheritance, and marriages, while the Catalogue of Ancient Deeds and Feet of Fines provide information about relationships within and between families. Wills are listed in the records of the Lincoln Record Society (1272-1532), London Hustings (1258-1688) and London Consistory Court (1492-1547). Woodhead’s Rulers of London, Bevan’s Aldermen of London and the Oxford alumni records, Fasti and Alumni Oxonienses, provide biographies. Tax listings, including the Tudor Subsidy Rolls, London Inhabitants within the Walls 1695 and the Registers of York Freemen, as well as several collections of apprenticeship records from the London Livery companies, provide more extensive listings of names.

Strengths and weaknesses

With the exception of Origins.net, none of the resources included in Connected Histories is explicitly designed for genealogical research, so while there is rich relevant material available about individual lives, it needs to be selected from other less useful results. Many name instances found in these sources, for example in London Lives, 1690-1800, come with very little contextual evidence, making it difficult to determine whether the document is referring to a known individual. It is also important to note that in many of the resources names have been marked up using natural language processing, which is only around 75 per cent accurate, as explained in About this project. Finally, Connected Histories does not provide a comprehensive collection of genealogical information for any locality, so family historians will need to supplement what they find here with other internet and archival sources.

Search strategies

As with any genealogical research, the more contextual detail you include in your search, by using place names and date ranges, the better. Connected Histories includes a wide range of sources covering more than four centuries of British history, so searches for most names will produce an excessive number of results. The Advanced search page allows you to search by full name, given name or surname.

Given the fact that some names are missed by natural language processing, where precision is required in search results it is advisable to search for names using keyword searching, using a phrase search where both forename and surname are known.

 
I understand that The National Archives Catalogue will be incorporated into this resource – bring it on I say!

Technorati Tags: , ,

Society of Genealogists update to SoG Data Online

Tim Lawrence , Head of Library Services at the Society of Genealogists has just informed me that he has finished uploading the following family history datasets to SoG Data Online. These can be searched  by members through the Society’s website www.sog.org.uk  following the links to MySoG. Non members can of course make a free search to see if the family surnames they are interested in are represented within any of the datasets.

Datasets now on  SoG Data Online:

Boyd’s Marriage Index (Main series and 1st Miscellaneous Series)

Boyd’s London burials

PCC wills 1750-1800

Vicar General marriage licence allegations index

Faculty Office marriage licence allegations index

St Leonard’s Shoreditch burials 1805-1858

St Andrew Holborn marriages 1754-1812

The following datasets which contain a a large number of  image files will be added to the Society Of Genealogists website more gradually. The completion date for this is May 2011, However, all can now be searched on www.findmypast.co.uk :

Apprentices of Great Britain

Boyd’s Family Units

Boyd’s London Inhabitants

Teachers Registration Council

Trinity House Calendars

Bank of England Wills

The addition of Boyd’s marriage index, by far the largest dataset, has slowed the search engine down slightly but Tim and his team are investigating this and will, hopeful ly, sort the problem out soon.

Tim also tells me he will be publishing more detailed information about each individual data set shortly so do keep an eye on the blog for this news.

Technorati Tags: ,

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.”

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

The Society of Genealogists 1911-2011: A century of family history

 After some three years of wBookcopverppt thumb The Society of Genealogists 1911 2011: A century of family historyork the Society of Genealogists is delighted to publish its history.  From the very beginning it was hoped that the work would reflect not only the history of the Society of Genealogists over the last century as seen by the personal recollections of the various authors, but also the community in which the Society found itself; social and genealogical. The Society has been at the forefront of changing family history in the United Kingdom. It has been a vocal advocate of the family historian and has pioneered a very democratic revolution in the study of ancestry. Everyone has roots and it became the Society’s ambition that everyone has the same opportunity and ability to discover their ancestors.

At the time of the Society of Genealogists’ foundation J. Horace Round had just published his masterly work Peerage and Pedigree: Studies in Peerage Law and Family History (1910) and would shortly finish his work on The King’s Serjeants and Officers of State, with their Coronation Services (1911). The series of genealogical pocket guides written by Charles Bernau included a small volume entitled Some Special Studies in Genealogy, published in 1908, in which the chapter on poor law records is called The Genealogy of the Submerged. This was the genealogical world into which the Society of Genealogists was born. But, by championing the genealogy of the common man and fighting for the preservation of and access to records that included everyone, the Society has overseen a century in which millions now enjoy tracing their family history. The Google Generation of armchair genealogists may be surprised at what their predecessors managed to achieve before the computer age.

This history gives an account of the Society’s campaigns written by Else Churchill. Michael Sharp assesses the influence of the media on family history. It contains personal memories of former chairmen and members who remember with affection monumental decisions as well as the little everyday struggles. Nicholas Newington-Irving tells tales from the members’ room. Peter Spufford relates the inside story of a group of “young Turks” who took the Society by the scruff of the neck in the middle of the century and changed its whole outlook. Sue Gibbons covers the people and the collections that are the backbone of the Society’s remarkable library and many of the Library’s treasures are shown for the first time in colour illustrations. Our Chief Executive, June Perrin tells of the period of change in the last ten years. The book explains the background to the foundation of the Society in 1911. The gripping tale of how the Heralds tried to contain what they saw as the threat from the “irresponsible” new Society of Genealogists is outlined for the first time by Patric Dickinson. Of course any genealogical book needs names and there are indexed lists of Officers, Senior Staff, Trustees, Fellows and Founding Members along with an up to date list of all the obituaries covered in the Genealogists’ Magazine.

Naturally, the editors of the work are immensely grateful to contributors for their individual chapters. They did indeed volunteer to celebrate the achievements of the Society and this history is the story they wanted to tell. However, it must also be said that the book could not have been made without the considerable effort of the designers Graham Collet and Sybil Spence and the photographs of many of the SoG treasures taken by Ed Templeman. If, in the rush to print we didn’t thank them formally, then I must take this opportunity to do so now. It was great fun exploring the history of the Society of Genealogists and the people who influenced the century of family history. Many care passionately about the Society. I’m grateful to Roy Stockdill for his editorial guidance and sub-editing. It was a delight to check facts with Nicholas Newington Irving, though some still eluded us till the bitter end and if we have missed more than I apologise.  I still wish we knew the names of the two lady typists who were engaged in the 1920s to create the Apprentices of Great Britain index. Any errors, omissions or oversights will no doubt be brought to our attention. I leave it to others to review. However in working on the book we became immensely proud of the Society of Genealogists and look forward to the next century of family history.

The Society of Genealogists 1911-2011: A century of family history, 2011, 216pp is published by the Society and available from our bookshop at £25 (£22.50 for members). It may be possible to arrange for a special hard-bound presentation copy to be ordered according to demand. If anyone is interested in this then they should contact the bookshop on sales@sog.org.uk

Technorati Tags: , ,

The Society of Genealogists again celebrated a successful weekend at Olympia as Who Do You Think You Are? Live reached its fifth year. 

The Society’s centenary celebrations were launched in style at a reception hosted by the Society’s centenary sponsors findmypast.co.uk and we were delighted that our new book The Society of Genealogists: A Hundred Years of Family History arrived just in time to take to the show. An interview with Debra Chatfield from FMP talking  to Chris Paton about the Society of Genealogists Data online is available on Youtube

As usual the membership team and volunteers manned the SoG’s stand (newly designed for this year) to sign up new members and tell everyone about the Society. I don’t think we broke last year’s record for sign ups but we came pretty close which, considering the economy, was a considerable achievement. So a big thank-you to all at the stand and of course to those who were kept busy selling on the bookstall. The new titles (the SoG History and Jayne Shrimpton’s Getting the Most from Family Pictures) seemed to be well appreciated and sold well. I hear SoG Librarian Tim Lawrence was quietly pleased with the quality of books available on his second hand books stall and he and his team raised a nice sum for the Library.

Away from the SoG stand the new space for the Society’s Ask the Experts Area in the upper gallery was well appreciated. We managed the queues well and helped as many people as ever before. Every time I rushed by I saw a huge numbers at the tables with all our expert volunteers so thanks to everyone who helped Lori and her team in that area. However, I do hope we can arrange for that big new space to be a little warmer next year.

The SoG workshops were well attended with many selling out and lots of people standing outside listening in. Some of the handouts and slides from the speakers at WDYTYA?Live 2011 are available on the Family History Show Pages of the Society of Genealogists’ website

Spreading the workshops out in the Upper Gallery was good for the audience and speakers but did mean I had to sprint from one to the other during the handover breaks between talks to thank all my speakers and make sure everyone was happy. I think they were and as usual all the talks were of an excellent quality. I am particularly grateful to the overseas speakers from New Zealand, Israel and America who travelled to take part and it was great to meet so many eminently knowledgeable speakers. However if you missed me in the blur as I strode purposefully past you know where I was heading.

The Society of Genealogists’ Family History show remains an integral part of WDYTYA?Live and the stall holders seemed as busy as ever. It struck me that a few voices disappeared as the stall holders talked to thousands of visitors. We were delighted to see the return of some societies who haven’t been able to attend in past years.

So what news did we hear at the show? Brand Events,who organised the event for the last 5 years, has sold its major share of the show to BBC Magazines Bristol who will be managing the event from now on and who have lots of new plans to take the event further. I didn’t have time to enquire on what’s new on all the stands so I am grateful to fellow bloggers and inveterate news hounds Dick Eastman and Chris Paton for posting show news round ups so early. The British Library announced its digitisation of the India Collections. The Genealogists is adding war memorials and Deceased Online has added Scottish MIs. Findmypast will be adding transcriptions of Scottish census records only. The trends for the future look to be technology and its potential for enhancing the family history experience so look out for new workshop content and more social network elements for next year’s WDYTYA?Live 2012. See you there.

 We will be posting some of our own pictures  from the show in due course but here are a few pictures taken by our friend Chris Paton and Pictures from Dick Eastman posted on their blogs

Technorati Tags: , ,

 Page 9 of 19  « First  ... « 7  8  9  10  11 » ...  Last »