Medley of Surrey Records

FindMyPast has just released an assortment of genealogy records for Surrey. It is good to see that a wider variety of records than just census and parish registers are now coming online. These types of records from poor law unions, workhouses, schools, infirmaries, goals etc. are real brick wall busters and give us a glimpse into our ancestors beyond simply names and dates.

The coverage isn’t for the whole county, but if you have families in Addlestone, Chertsey, Cobham, Dorking, Farnham, Godstone, Guildford, Hambledon, Redhill, Richmond Upon Thames, Southwark, Warlingham, and Woking then this is definitely worth a look.

Guildford Workhouse

I see that Guildford Workhouse births, deaths and infirmary deaths are included. remember that with workhouses the catchment  area can be quite large. I will be definitely be searching these records for my Surrey folk.

www.findmypast.co.uk

 

 

Birth & Death Indexes

I am sure you all probably know that when you first start your family history research your first port of call after having reviewed all the records your family already has is to look at Birth, Marriage and Death indexes.

Up until fairly recently the early indexes didn’t give many clues such as age at death that the later indexes did. These indexes can be viewed on Ancestry, Find My Past, Free BMD and other sites. However that has now all changed. The General Register Office have put their indexes online and have included the details that the later indexes do not.

Hooray !!

Now this makes it so much easier to fill in gaps going back to 1837 when the registration of births, deaths and marriages started to be recorded by the government.

So here is how you set about using these indexes.

Go to  https://www.gov.uk/order-copy-birth-death-marriage-certificate

image

Click on the green “Start Now” button

 


 

 

Clickimage on the “Register/Log in” which is on the right hand side of the page near the top and if you haven’t already register fill in the form with the usual email address, user name etc. Don’t worry you won’t get bombarded with emails from them.

 

 

 

image

Having got your registration completed enter your user name and password. Click “Submit”’.

 

 

 

 

 

Click on “imageSearch the GRO Index” on the top of the left hand column.

 

 

 

 

 

Chose Births oimagef Deaths – no marriages, but I am sure they must be working on adding them in very soon.

 

 

Fill in the form as far as you imageknow the details. You have to include Surname, Gender and Year, but the other details can be left blank. You can only search a 5 year time span so if you are undertaking a wide year range search then do remember to note down which years you have checked. Click “Search”.

 

 

 

 

imageThe results are displayed at the of the search page so don’t be fooled into thinking it hasn’t worked, simply tab down the page.

Births can be search from 1837 – 1916 and show the usual name, quarter and year of registration, registration district and volume and page number. Plus now you have the mother’s maiden name which is so helpful in putting families together.

Deaths can be search 1837 – 1957 and show the usual name, quarter and year of registration, registration district and volume and page number. Plus now you have the age at death. Remember that all the details for a death certificate are given by another person and will often depend on what they have been told or think they know. I am sure there are many instances where a guess has been made when stating age !

So do take a look at this site, it is now my go to site for GRO Indexes. If I am unsure of dates I use Ancestry, Find My Past or Free BMD first to narrow down the years. It is so helpful to be able to access mother’s maiden name and age at death. Also from the site you can order a certificate if you wish for £9.50. This is the cheapest way to buy certificates as there is no surcharge like other sites.

Happy Ancestor Hunting Smile

 

 

Jersey Parish Registers now online

Ancestry.co.uk has put the parish registers for the Channel Island of Jersey online. Jersey is not just a lovely place to spend a holiday, it has a rich and varied history. Wikipedia has a good overview if you wish to know more https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Jersey.

I have several ancestors who moved in the Victorian period to Jersey to retire and I shall be searching these records to see if the connection with the island in fact was earlier than the 1851 census through which I was alerted to their move to Jersey.

The online records date from 1541 and covers the usual baptisms, marriages and burials.

www.ancestry.co.uk

photo of St Clements Church By Danrok – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7669175

Highgate Cemetery Records now online

I have been waiting years – and I do mean years – for the Highgate Cemetery records to come online and now thanks to our friends at www.deceasedonline.com I can now search away to my hearts content. Only fellow genealogists will appreciate the excitement of a new set of records coming available concerning the long dead can generate!!

If you have not visited Highgate Cemetery you are missing a wonderful experience. This time of year is good for visitihighgateng any of the Victorian cemeteries as the trees, shrubs and bushes have died back and looking around is a lot easier. I have visited quite a number of the London Cemeteries as they fascinate me and I give talks to genealogy and history groups on the subject. Highgate is my favourite one as it has a grandeur and presence that outshines, in my opinion, the others. You can only visit the cemetery with a guide, no wandering around on your own allowed, but you can arrange to be shown an ancestors grave by prior arrangement. A must visit place for anyone with or without London ancestors.

Links

www.deceasedonline.com

www.highgate.org

 

 

 

 

Bedlam Hospital Records now online

I have just finished reading “Inconvenient People: Lunacy, Liberty & The Mad-Doctors of Victorian England” by Sarah Wise and jolly interesting it was too. There must be something in the air because FindMyPast has today released the hospital records for Bedlam, one of the world’s oldest mental health hospitals. The hospital has had a chequered history and I am sure that the release of this dataset will bring forth many stories.

imageFindMyPast is scanning both staff and patient records.  The records released today go into detail about each patient, in many cases documenting their mental state and including photographs of the inmates once photography became available. The records also detail the reasons why they had been deemed insane, with first-hand accounts of the behaviour of the inmates and their families.

“These records provide an extraordinary level of detail about the patients of the Bethlem Royal Hospital as far back as the 17th century,” said Debra Chatfield, family historian at Findmypast.  “Containing letters written in their own words and handwriting, photographs at different stages of their illness, and reports on their day to day behaviour by close family members and the medical staff at the hospital, these records provide, for the very first time online, real insight into life in this infamous institution. It’s hard not to empathise with the inmates as you learn about their often harrowing and tragic stories. Publishing these records online allows those stories to be told for the first time to a wider audience, and you might discover that you had an ancestor who was sent to Bedlam.”image

Also of interest is the website of the Bethlam Museum of the History of the Mind which offers background history and information on Bedlam.

 

 

www.findmypast.co.uk

http://museumofthemind.org.uk/