Archives for July 2012

Ancestry Livestream

Ancestry Livestream GenealogyDo you know about Ancestry Livestream? It is the official live events channel of and offers a video library that you can use at any time or you can book in and watch a genealogy expert give a talk on some aspect of family history.

It is true that many of the videos are US based, but it is worthwhile searching out those that you think would be helpful for your UK genealogy. For example I have clicked on the RSVP box next to the lecture on “Splitting or Combining Family Trees on Ancestry” it is so much easier to hear and see how do to do these things than to work out how to do them yourself. I shall be ready and waiting with note book at hand at 1pm ET 31 July to listen to Crista Cowan explain all.

Take a look at the video archive and also the list of forthcoming lectures and take advantage of this Ancestry facility.

Who Do You Think You Are? new series

Who Do You Think You Are?It has just been announced that the new series of Who Do You Think You Are? is to air sometime next month. The list of celebrities who are climbing their family trees have been revealed.

  • Alex Kingston – actress
  • Annie Lennox – musician and activist
  • Gregg Wallace – tv presenter
  • Hugh Dennis – comedian & actor
  • William Roache – actor
  • Celia Imrie – actress
  • Patrick Stewart – actor
  • John Bishop – comedian
  • John Barnes – footballer
  • Samantha Womack –  actress

The press release promises that the series will cover the Crimean War, WW1, WW2, illegitimacy, poverty, misfortune, formidable matriarchs, aristocracy, Jamaican genealogy, estrangement and abandonment. Apart from the Jamaican connection they could have had me and my genealogy on the programme and saved themselves a lot of trouble !!

Always good to have a new series of WDYTYA? to look forward to.

Devon Marriage Records 1837 – 2002

St Andrews Church, Plymouth, Devon

Find My Past has added 150,000+ new Devon marriage records to their Devon collection. The time span is 1837 – 2002, so a relatively recent batch of records. It is great to see so many non-conformist records amongst this new addition. These records are transcripts and have been provided by the Devon Family History Society.

Transcripts may not be a full record of everything on the original entry, also transcripts are open to error on the part of the transcriber. Viewing the original document online is preferable.

A list of the parishes covered are available on the FindMyPast website and also on the Teach Yourself Family History website under “Records by County”.  Here is a link to that page………


Trade Directories covering Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire & Worcestershire

Trade have added to their Trade Directories collection with directories which cover the Midland counties of Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. This release adds another 350 trade directories to the already large collection on offer.

These books can be a great help when compiling a family history.

What are Trade Directories?

Trade directories vary depending on the company which compiled them, but at their best they start with a description of city, town or village including vital information as to when the post box is emptied to when the last train leaves the local station for the day. The parts that gets genealogists excited are the listing of all the tradesmen in the town and also often a street by street listing of who is the main householder in each dwelling.

Some directories charged tradesmen to have an entry in the directory so you can’t be sure that everyone is included and it is best to bear in mind that often there was a gap of up to a year between the gathering of the information and the printing and distribution of the directory.

The directories date from the 1600’s to the 1900’s. The earlier ones have less information and are quite rare, but the Victorian period 1837 – 1901 offers many good examples.

What will I find in Trade Directories?

Below are three screen shots of details that can be discovered using the directories. The first is a transcript of a directory of Bristol dated around the 1790’s. The second is a scan of the original page of the entry for Mevagissey, Cornwall taken from The Universal British Directory 1791. The third is taken from the 1850 Bagshaw’s Directory of Cheshire. Directories




Where will I find Trade Directories? have an extensive collection of directories and it is well worth checking to see if your ancestors feature in the pages. GenealogyFind My Past has quietly put up their new worldwide web site which will allow access to all their records. The site is tagged as a Beta version and they are offering a reduced price subscription for a limited number of customers. This is presumably so that they can test the site and make sure everything is working 100% before they go live properly.

FindMyPast now has Irish, Australian and US records including the newly released 1940 census as well as their UK records and these will all be accessible with this one new subscription. This new move will bring them into competition with and it will be interesting to see how Ancestry reacts.

To take a look simply follow this link