1911 Census now linked with Historic Maps

1911 census MapsAncestry have announced that the 1911 images that they have offered online for some time now have been replaced with images that have the previously hidden ‘Infirmity’ column disclosed. Good to have full access to all the 1911 census details.

The really exciting news is that they have linked the census forms to their UK Maps Collection dating from 1896 – 1904 that they have online. I tested this out using my grandparents Alfred & Ada Hawkins who lived in Farnborough, Hampshire. I’m pleased to report that none of family suffered from an infirmity, however the map attached to the census was for Farnborough in Warwickshire not Hampshire. I then tried a search for my other grandparents William & Eliza Elliott and found them on the census correctly with the right map attached.

It would have been helpful to be able to attached the map to the individuals on my Ancestry Tree, but perhaps this is a facility that Ancestry will introduce later. Overall a good addition to Ancestry.co.uk



Ancestry Reference Desk


I’ve just come across the blog for the Ancestry Library Edition, a post by the Ancestry Insider pointed me in that direction as the PDF’s from some of the RootsTech  presentations are online there. Whilst you don’t have an audio of the talk, the PDF’s are interesting and it is easy to fill in the gaps. Not as good as being there, but better than nothing!

Anne Gillespie Mitchell is the author of the blog and she is obviously an experienced genealogist and know Ancestry’s website well. The posts sometimes have a short video attached  which is always good, others have screen shots. The posts I have read have all been interesting and helpful. Another good blog to add to my RSS feed.

Thank you to the Ancestry Insider!



Cross Bones Graveyard, Southwark, London

Cross Bones GraveyardYesterday I watched an old episode of History Cold Case which was available on YouTube. The case the team was looking at was of a young woman whose skeleton had been excavated by the Museum of London from the Cross Bones cemetery in Red Cross Street, Southwark. This cemetery is of un-consecrated ground that is in danger of being re-developed into blocks of apartments. The Museum of London was given 6 weeks in which undertake an archaeological dig in the 1990’s before a transformer station was built in one corner. They excavated 148 bodies from that portion of the site and they estimate that 15,000 people may be buried in the cemetery.

The cemetery dates from post medieval times Hogarth's Southwarkand was once known as the single woman’s burial ground, a euphemism for prostitutes burial ground. By 1769 it had become a pauper’s burial ground for the poor of St Saviours Church. The cemetery was closed in 1853 as it was considered full, an understatement, and the Burial Act of 1853 closed the vast majority of the city’s burial grounds and church yards.

The local community is in a constant battle to stop the re-development of this cemetery, the first attempt was made in 1883 and it seems that since then there has been attempt after attempt to ignore the cemetery and simply re-use the land. There are several links below which lead to website which outline the history of the burial ground and the present local people who are determined to see it turned into a memorial park honouring those buried there.

As genealogists of course we are interested in the records for the burial ground. I have found the burial registers St Saviour, Southwark 1720 –1854 and St Thomas, Southwark 1614 – 1856 and death registers for St Saviours Union Workhouse Infirmary 1833 – 1940 are all on Ancestry.co.uk. Of course the burial registers do not give information on just where the deceased were buried simply that a burial service was conducted for them and the Infirmary register is of deaths, not burials.

A search of the London Metropolitan Archives catalogue found six documents of possible interest. A search of A2A didn’t produce anything of interest, but National Archives have 2 documents that concern the burial ground, one of which may well be the burial register for the cemetery. These documents haven’t been digitised therefore are not online.

Cross Bones Grave YardI visited the burial ground in 2008 and by coincidence I met John Constable the leader of the community group who are campaigning to keep the developers out. After a brief chat about the burial ground he asked if I would like to go inside, the area is fenced, but John had a key. He led the way and told me about how he found out about the burial ground and it’s history and the people who are buried there. I was told later that it is quite unusual for John to invite a stranger into the burial ground.

John’s tale of how he was led to find the site is an interesting one and to this day I am not sure if I believe it, but standing in the burial ground it seemed a totally normal occurrence! I’ll leave you to read all about it on the Cross Bones website and you can make your own mind up !




London Metropolitan Archives


National Archives




Cross Bones Burial Ground


BBC Audio Slide Show


Museum of London



images Cross Bones Graveyard, Hogarth’s Southwark – Wikimedia

Billion Graves now on Ancestry

http://www.ancestry.com/death?cj=1&netid=cj&o_xid=0003300142&o_lid=0003300142&o_sch=Affiliate+ExternalAncestry has gathered the BillionGraves website into it’s fold, the BillionGraves website is still up and running, but can now also be searched via Ancestry.com. 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 Ancestry.com. 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 http://billiongraves.com/them 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.





Ancestry Trees–Merge option and other anomalies

Merge Duplicate People

Hooray …. at last …….. not before time ……..

The reason for my jubilation is that is the latest email from Ancestry they have announced that you can now merge two individuals on your Ancestry trees. There are many ways whereby you end up with two or more entries for one ancestors, a common one is when one parents dies between census and if you aren’t paying attention and just click away you can end up with the surviving parents having two families with children of the same name. If you have never done this then you will wonder what I am on about, but if you have you’ll know exactly how annoying it is!!

The email has the merge instruction under Top Tips and a link to the website. Clicking on the link takes you to the Ancestry Blog with an entry dated 7 December 2012 giving clear instruction on how to tidy up your tree using the new merge tool. On this page are several screen shots and the one that shows the drop down box of “More Options” has a list of options

  • Add a note
  • Create a military page
  • Find famous relatives
  • Save person to another tree
  • Merge with duplicate

Now when I clicked on the “More Options” tab on my Southwell tree I got a drop down box that just had

  • Add a note
  • Save person to another tree
  • Merge with duplicate

I suspected the difference was becauseFile:Cesky Sternberk Castle CZ family tree 116.jpg I was logging into Ancestry.co.uk so I logged into Ancestry.com, open up my tree and yes, my theory was right the additional options were there. I have a Worldwide subs so I can log into .com, but I assume that if you just have a .uk subs you can’t. Wonder why the difference, if Ancestry read this and get back to me I’ll let you know why. In the meantime just enjoy merge all those ancestors who seem to have morphed into two people. Nothing like having a tidy family tree Winking smile


Image – Portraits of six generations of Sterberg family in Jiří Sternberg’s study – Wikimedia This image was originally posted to Flickr by m-louis at http:[email protected]/95221116. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.