Archives for January 2013

Billion Graves now on Ancestry has gathered the BillionGraves website into it’s fold, the BillionGraves website is still up and running, but can now also be searched via All part of Ancestry’s plan to be the #1 genealogy one stop shop no doubt. The search is free through Ancestry and doesn’t require you to be a subscriber and presumably when you do a search and a name is found it directs you through to the BillionGraves site.

I say presumably because when I tried I got the Please Search Again message from Ancestry saying The search request could not be completed because insufficient information was provided to If the search request originated from another web site, please contact that site’s administrator to resolve the problem.”  I checked that the Billiongraves website was up and running and it was, so I think it must be the link between and Ancestry.

The database is heavily bias towards the USA, but has a growing number of English graves, all the work is undertaken by volunteers so it is dependant on someone going out with the iPhone/Android App and clicking away and uploading the photos.

I did a search for the surname Pottinger in the UK on the BillionGraves site and came up with two entries from Kingston upon Thames and four from Edinburgh. Well worth bookmarking this site and it will be good when it is fully integrated into Ancestry.



Catholic Ancestors – National Library and Family History Society

File:St. Michaels Abbey Farnborough England.jpg

Do you have ancestors who were of the Catholic faith? Of course prior to the falling out Henry 8th had with Rome all our ancestors attended Roman Catholic Churches, but that is another story !

The Catholic National Library is house at St Michael’s Abbey, Farnborough which is of interest to me as my father undertook building and masonry work there for quite a few years and I know the abbey well. They have a website with an online catalogue, opening hours of the library for research and other information of interest to genealogists. Well worth looking at if you have ancestors of the Catholic faith.

The Catholic Family History Society has published a number of CD’s of births, marriages, burials, and  wills etc.

  • St Anne, Junction St, Ancoats, Manchester baps 1848 – 1874
  • St Mary’s, Mulberry Street, Manchester  baps 1820-1831
  • St Patrick’s, Livesey Street, Manchester baps 1832-1860
  • St. Patrick’s, Livesey St., Manchester, burials1832-1858
  • Lancashire Catholic Wills 1492 – 1894
  • Lancashire Registers vol. 1 – covers The Register of Wrightington Hall (later St Joseph’s), The Registers of Standish Hall (later St Marie’s), St Wilfrid with St Mary RC Parish, Preston, Lancashire.
  • Sardinian Embassy Chapel Register, London 1772 – 1841
  • Miscellaneous London transcripts vol 1 – covers 27 indexed transcriptions of Catholic parish registers from churches, chapels and missions in the County of Middlesex.
  • Miscellaneous London transcripts vol 2 – covers a further 23 indexed transcriptions of Catholic parish registers from churches, chapels and missions in the ecclesiastical division known as the London District until 1850.
  • Introduction to Catholic Southampton by Canon R. E. Scantlebury covers The Registers of St Joseph’s Church, Southampton, Introduction to St Joseph’s Registers with Transcriptions of the Latin & French entries, Biography of Fr H. C. E. Van Doorne, the Belgian Poet & Curate and Historian of St Joseph’s, A full transcription of the Pylewell House and Elm Cottage Marriage Register (1843 and 1855).


Image – This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Originally posted to Flickr by http:[email protected]/5085811195

Discover Your Ancestors – a book or a magazine?

Discovering your ancestors magazineLast year I wrote about the magazine “Discovering Your Ancestors” which was put out by and I wondered if there was going to be any more issues. Thanks to Chris Paton of the British Genes blog I now know that “Discovering Your Ancestors” isn’t a magazine, but a bookazine !! And that a 2nd edition is due out next month to coincide with the “Who Do you Think You Are Live! Show in London. It seems that this is going to be a yearly event and issuing it in time for the big WDYTYA show makes a lot of commercial sense.

Thanks Chris for keeping us informed of this as I shall certainly be buying a copy. Last year saw the demise of one genealogy magazine and gossip says that a few others are struggling so it makes sense to create a bookazine which must be cheaper to produce than a book, can be sold at a more affordable price whilst having some good quality content.

Below is the link to the press release from the publishers. I shall be buying a digital copy as soon as it is published and if it is as good as the first issue it will be well worth the £5.99.

Connected Histories

Connected Histories

I’ve written about this website before, but took another look today as I was finishing off the last pieces of one of my talks that I am giving on the Unlock The Past Cruise next month.

Four new resources have been added to the website.

  • Convict Transportation Register Database
  • John Foxe’s The Acts & Monuments Online
  • 19th century British Pamphlets
  • Archbishopric of York Cause Papers

This site is turning into a real treasure chest of data useful to family and local historians. A simple surname search covers all 22 websites which are linked to Connected Histories. Some of the websites are pay, but others are free and even if your search turns up something from one of the pay sites and you don’t wish to subscribe, a brief description might be most useful in pointing you in the right direction for further research.

Divorce Records now online Divorce Records

This new set of records from will, for some, definitely comes under the heading of belonging to the skeleton in the cupboard !!! However most genealogists soon discover that you need to embrace the records that don’t reflect well on our ancestors as well as those which do.

The Civil Divorce Records 1858 – 1911 can provide lots of information for family histories, claim and counter claim about the reason why a divorce is being sort plus date of marriage, children born and where the couple lived.

A test search for the name Elliott brought forth 108 results. I chose Archibald McVine Elliott as my example. the document gave the following information.

Mary Adele Elliott v Archibald Elliott

Petition filed by Mary Adele Elliott 20 June 1888
Decree Nisi 27 Oct 1888
Final Decree 30 April 1889
Solicitor for Mary Adele Elliott Edwin Hughes of the Strand
Married 2 August 1873 at St Gabriel, Pimlico between Archibald McVine Elliott & Mary Adele Gibbs, spinster
Reason for divorce adultery coupled with desertion for 2 years and upwards without cause
Child of the marriage Grace Lydia Miller Elliott born 8 December 1876
Address of Mary A Elliott 166 Cambridge Road, Pimlico
Address the couple lived at 7 Sutherland Place, Pimlico
39 Lorimore Road, Walworth
23 Basnet Grove, Lavender Hill, Wandsworth
Archibald deserted Mary on or about 13 September 1876
Archibald’s adultery February 1882 at 273 Cable Street, Shadwell Archibald lived and co-habited with Elsie or Elise Morgan. Another 5 address where  Archibald & Elsie lived are given. Also Archibald & Elsie went under the name of Mr & Mrs Hamilton.
Death of Elsie Morgan 22 January 1888
After Elsie’s death Archibald went to live with his sister Mrs Grace Dowie Harding of 460 Harrow Road, London
Archibald’s relation Stepmother, 4 brothers (2 in Bethlehem Hospital, one secretary of the Badminton Club, Piccadilly, one a doctor at the Colonial Hospital, Geraldton, Western Australia, one sister. 
Marriage certificate Copy of marriage certificate included in file
Death certificate Copy of death certificate of John Archibald Hamilton who died aged 4 months at 273 Cable Street. John must have been a son of Archibald & Elsie.

There are 19 pages in all, some are double pages. As can be seen there is an enormous amount of information to be found in these records. A valuable addition to the Ancestry set of databases.