Archives for June 2013

The London Gazette, 1825-1962

London Gazette Genealogy has added the London Gazette for the period 1825 – 1962 to their collections. If you have never used the Gazette then you might be surprised what you may find in there. Admiralty & War Office reports military appointments, promotions & medal awards, civil service news, British citizenship grants, law changes & new laws, deceased estates, bankruptcies, OBE & other awards and name changes by deed poll.

The gazette started in 1665 and is now the oldest continuously published newspaper. The early editions only contained the law changes. The publications are browse only at the moment, but I would have thought they would be a prime candidate for indexing.

The London Gazette along with those for Belfast and Edinburgh have been online for some time free of charge. A quick search of one of my family names DIDDAMS came back with 77 entries for that name. The entries dated from 1841 to 2011and covered a wide range of notices and added considerably to my family history. Interesting the earliest and latest notices concerned bankruptcy, which perhaps shows that life doesn’t change much! The Gazette doesn’t simply cover London, but deals with events that occurred throughout Britain.

The Ancestry collection notification states that there are random gaps in this collection and it does not include every volume published between 1825 and 1962. I couldn’t find out if this was the case for the official website, but suspect that it doesn’t.

Brompton, London Cemetery Records now completely online

Brompton Cemetery GenealogyBrompton Cemetery records 1840 – 1997 are now completely available online at DeceasedOnline. This is an important collection of records for family historians. Most people who are researching their genealogy will find that at the very least a few of their ancestors lived and died in London.

Brompton is one of the London Cemeteries known as the Magnificent Seven. Situated in South West London it is what the Victorians called a garden cemetery, planted out in majestic trees, flower borders and shrubs and as well as being a place to bury loved ones, it was designed to be a place to use as a park. The cemetery is now cared for by the Royal Parks and is still a wonderful place to visit.

The records that are now available online are :-

  • burial register scans
  • grave details
  • cemetery section maps for each burial
  • photos of memorials (as available)



Who Do You Think You Are July e-edition now out

WDYTYA magazine genealogyAlmost since it inception I have had a subscription to the Who Do You Think You Are magazine, in the early years I lived 100% in NZ so it was an expensive, but not prohibitive indulgence to pay for an overseas subscription. In later years costs have risen and as I now spend a sizeable chunk of time living in the UK each year and could easily (and more cheaply) buy a copy in the supermarket I was considering cancelling the subscription.

Then along came virtual subscriptions which allows the magazine to be sent through, via the internet, to your iPad or Andriod Tablet. Such a subscription bought through Zinio costs £4.99 per copy or £34.99 for a years sub. This is a saving of 41% off the cover price of the magazine when bought at WH Smith’s/Tesco’s etc.

So what’s in the July issue? I have had a quick browse and may well get back with a more in-depth blog about one or two of the subjects the articles covered. However for now I can report that there are articles on Wills, Workhouses, Yorkshire, Suffragettes (very topical at the moment), Non-Conformists (I’m writing a talk on this subject at the moment) and quite a bit more.

I don’t get paid or get a free subscription for WDYTYA magazine so don’t think this is a advert for the mag, I just think that any keen genealogists would benefit from getting their hands on this magazine. The magazine also has a good website with plenty of pages to interest family historians.

I’m off to find a quiet spot and have a good read on my iPad mini for a few hours Smile

The felt hat industry of Bristol and South Gloucestershire, 1530-1909

Felt Hat makers genealogy

My friend Judy has been telling me about a thesis that has been written about the felt hat trade in Bristol and South Gloucestershire. Judy has ancestors who worked as hatters. Chris Heal has writing a thesis entitled “The felt hat industry of Bristol and South Gloucestershire, 1530-1909” which can be downloaded free of charge from the British Library’s EThOS web site (

If you wish to consult the books, research files and unpublished notes about 20 leading hatting families which Chris has compiled they are now available at The Hat Works Museum in Stockport.

Chris will be giving a talk on the ‘The Great Hatting Strike of 1834-5: Christy’s foul
design to crush the liberties of the hatters’ at the Winterbourne Medieval Barn Trust
( on 24 July at 7.45pm.

The British in India

British India genealogyHere is a reply from Rosana who I helped with her query in a recent blog.

Hello Linda,

I had encountered a brick wall in my search for my maternal grandfather ”Robert Smith Lyall”  for the period of his stay in the UK. It was your expertise which broke open the barriers and I consider myself very lucky to have got your web site on the internet by chance.

I am in the process of obtaining a copy of his death certificate from Lower Circular Road in Calcutta, India. I have attached his burial record and the second marriage certificate. The second marriage certificate shows his parents as Harry Lyall and Lucy Lyall.

Also there is a burial record at Fort Williams, Calcutta, India in <> for Winifred Lyall showing her spouse as R Lyall and I wonder if this could be his first wife who died at childbirth.

I managed to obtain the 2nd marriage certificate of Robert’s along with my Mom’s (Pearl Irene Lyall) baptism certificate and details of other children from the British Library in London.

We have also an old visiting card of Robert Smith Lyall which I am attaching herewith.

Thank you very much and I am grateful for the clues provided on my maternal grandfather.

Warm Regards


East Africa.

My Answer

Hi Rosana,

I am pleased I have helped you with your genealogy brick wall.

The first thing I noticed when I looked at the marriage certificate of Robert Smith Lyall to Stella Constance Gommes was that the marriage took place in a Roman Catholic Church. It is so important to note which religion one’s ancestors follow, they may of course not always continue with following that church, but it is a good clue as to where to look next.

The great news is that the certificate issued by the church shows parents names Harry & Lucy Lyall, interesting that the certificate shows both parents name. I’ve not seem an India marriage certificate before so it was a treat to see the difference between it and English ones.

I found the visiting card rather confusing as it states that Robert is a medical doctor who has practised in London, he holds a B.A. from a university in the USA and that he was a Honorary Police Magistrate. This doesn’t quite match up with the Robert who married Stella Gommes, who is said to be a Carriage Inspector. I wonder if the card of Dr R.S. Lyall is another person not your grandfather?

Using the names of Robert’s parents I have undertaken searches in Ancestry, FindMyPast and FamilySearch, but can’t identify anyone conclusively. Perhaps Harry & Lucy were both from British India families?

FindMyPast announced in 2011 that they had the contract to digitise birth, marriage and death records for British India that are held at the British Library. I understand that they will be ready to go online this summer. Sorry I haven’t been able to help you further.

Happy ancestor hunting Smile