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/

Shropshire Parish Records now online

I have just received this Press Release from our friends at FindMyPast………

Leading UK family history website findmypast.co.uk has today, 26 April 2014, published online for the first time parish records held by the Shropshire Archives as the latest instalment of their 100 in 100 promise to launch 100 record sets in 100 days.

Spanning 1538 to 1900, the Shropshire Collection comprises approximately 2.1 million fully searchable transcripts and 155,000 scanned colour images of the parish registers. A selection of Anglican, Methodist and Non-Conformist registers from well over 200 Shropshire parishes from Abdon to Yockleton are included in the collection.

The records comprise –

Baptism 1537 – 1900
Banns 1760 – 1900
Marriages 1538 – 1900
Burials

1538 – 1900

Before English Genealogists get too excited I should point out that not all the 100 records sets in a 100 days cover the UK. So far there have been some American and Australian records as well as UK datasets. However it would be a very unusual family who didn’t have a few members who set sail for greener pastures and adventures!

www.findmypast.co.uk

 

WW1 Shipping Records Online

British ships lost at sea during WW1 - MadAboutGenealogy

FindMyPast hasn’t released much in the last few weeks, perhaps they are getting ready to announce something big or simply don’t have anything new ready to offer us? However today they have released a dataset of a list of British Royal Navy ships destroyed during World War 1.

The original records are housed at The National Archives, Kew where you inspect them free of charge. If you can’t get to Kew then FindMyPast is the way to access these records, the details you can expect are as follows –

  • Ship name
  • Date it was destroyed
  • Number of officers killed or wounded
  • Type of vessel
  • How and where it was destroyed

Used in conjunction with the other WW1 records on FindMyPast they are a useful addition to the Naval records now online.