Archives for January 2009

British Telecom Archive Catalogue now online

BTThe BT Archive has now put their catalogue online. You can search through the catalogued entries for documents, books, objects, images and films on subjects spanning the development of telecommunications, from the birth of the electric telegraph in the 1830s to the explosion of the internet and the rise of competition. The catalogue will be updated regularly with descriptions of additional material.




Price of DNA testing reduced

It’s not something that I think would help me in my research, but perhaps I don’t know enough about it. Anyway has reduced the price of it’s DNA testing to $79US. Their press release states….

Provo, Utah, January 27, 2009 —, the world’s largest online resource for family history, has reduced the prices of its genetic genealogy DNA tests, allowing consumers more affordable access to the family history information provided by these tests.
Effectively immediately, the 33-marker paternal lineage test is now only $79 (down from $149). The paternal lineage test analyzes DNA in the Y chromosome, which is passed virtually unchanged from father to son. Advanced paternal lineage tests, maternal lineage tests (which looks at mitochondrial DNA passed from a mother to her children), and combination paternal and maternal lineage testing options are also part of the product suite.

So if you think it would help, then it’s just got cheaper !!!

Historic Hampshire Maps

old hampshire mapsThe University of Portsmouth has made some old Hampshire maps available online. Also are extracts from William Cobbetts Rural Rides, Daniel Defoes guidebook of 1726 plus other authors. A useful web site for those of us with Hampshire families.



Technorati Tags: Genealogy,family history,Hampshire,maps

Genealogy Conference 2009

2009 FFHS ConferenceOpen The Door & Here Are The People is the title of the major UK genealogical conference for 2009.

I attended a similar conference in Northampton a couple of years ago and it was great. Total immersion genealogy for 4 days. The venue, speakers, food and atmosphere was wonderful. I shall try and attend this years conference, depending on the state of the piggy bank nearer the time. If you have the opportunity to attend do go, it will be a worthwhile experience.

The latest press release announces another 2 speakers.

“We are excited to announce two further eminent speakers for the OPEN THE DOOR … conference.

Professor Richard Holmes, the noted military historian, is particularly well-known through his many television presentations, including the Battlefields series and Wellington, the Iron Duke. He the author of many best-selling books including Tommy: The British Soldier on the Western Front and Sahib: The British Soldier in India.

Dr Nick Barratt is a prolific reviewer and commentator on all aspects of history, notably family history. He is best known as a presenter on Who Do You Think You Are? and Hidden House Histories. Nick is also the author of many books including Tracing the history of your house and The family detective.”

Take a look at the website and start saving those pennies !


Digitising of Books valuable to Family Historian hits 25,000 mark

This press release was published by the LDS Church just before Christmas. Having used the library housed at the LDS Genealogical Library in Salt Lake I can vouch for the rare & unique books that are housed there. It’s good to know that the scheme is to be expanded to other libraries.

 LDS Digitised Books

FamilySearch Digital Preservation Initiative Hits a Milestone

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—FamilySearch International reached a milestone today with the digitization of its 25,000th publication online. It began the initiative in 2007 and is ramping up to do even more—and faster. The effort targets published family, society, county, and town histories, as well as numerous other historical publications that are digitally preserved and made accessible for free online. The digital publications can be searched at (Go to, then click Search Records, then click Historical Books).

The 25,000th digitized publication was "A History of Lewis County, in the State of New York, from the Beginning of Its Settlement to the Present Time" by Franklin B. Hough. The book was published in 1860. The lengths of titles digitized to date vary in length, but the average is about 350 pages. There are even publications in Spanish, German, French, and Russian.

FamilySearch has nearly a million publications in its famous Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and there are millions of similar publications elsewhere in the United States. "The problem with the collection [of out-of-print titles] is limited access," said Ransom Love, FamilySearch senior vice president of Strategic Relations. "To view the publications, patrons have to travel to Salt Lake City or one of FamilySearch’s affiliate libraries. If you are lucky, you might be able to order a microfilm copy, but then you have to wait for it to arrive at your local family history center. And there’s the inconvenience of having to read it on a film reader," added Love.

FamilySearch aims to change all of that. Working with volunteers and select affiliate libraries, it plans to create the largest digital collection of published histories on the Web. It is targeting a wide range of historical publications—for example, users might be pleasantly surprised to find digital copies of Hawaii Sugar Planters Association Filipino Laborer files (1909-1949), medieval family history resource titles, and oral history abstracts (mostly from Hawaii), and numerous gazetteers.

"These are publications that were usually limited in the number originally printed and therefore only accessible in a few libraries or special collections worldwide. Yet there can be some great information of genealogical significance in the publications that only a few people would have access to prior to now," said Love.

Through its Records Access Program, FamilySearch is digitally preserving a copy of the publications and making them available online for the masses. Once digitized, the collections have "every word" search capability, which allows users to search by name, location, date, or other fields across the collection. The search results are then linked to high quality digital images of the original publication.

FamilySearch is not stopping with its own collection either. Over the past year, it announced that it is also helping to digitize and publish collections from the Brigham Young University Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University—Hawaii Joseph F. Smith Library, Allen County Public Library (ACPL) in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Houston Public Library, in Houston, Texas, and Mid-Continent Public Library Midwest Genealogy Center in Independence, Missouri. When all is said and done, there will be over a million publications in the digital collection online. It will be the largest free resource of its kind.