Society of Genealogists new website

Society of GenealogistsMy first visit to the Society of Genealogists many years ago was to their premises at Harrington Gardens and Anthony Camp was the director, he was very kind to a keen, but definitely novice family historian and introduced me to a wide range of records. I remember that the other people in the library were predominately male and seemed quite elderly. How things have changed in the genealogical world!

The society is now situated in Charterhouse Buildings, the director is Else Churchill and you see a wide range of members and visitors both male and female and of all ages. The society  has recently completely redesigned their website and it is worth looking at even if you are not a member. Some of the records that the SOG hold are online for members to search who can’t visit the library and a surname search can be undertaken. Of course if you wish to inspect the records that come up in the results you are required to join the society, but at least you have a good idea what is available and might be of interest.

There is an excellent range of online guides to genealogy which are free to look at, hints and tips and a list of the classes held onsite. The online library catalogue is great for forward preparation before a visit, library services are listed as well as the holdings of the book store. A unique strength of the collection is the Document Collection and the surnames within this collection have been catalogued and are available for searching.

The SOG site is well worth spending time on and familiarising yourself as to what the society has to offer.

Discover Your Ancestors magazine was very excited to get an email announcing the arrival of the digital Discover Your Ancestors magazine. I quickly paid my £12 and look forward to receiving a new issue every month for the next year. This periodical is a sister to and not to be confused with the excellent annual Discover Your Ancestors.

The periodical is 20 pages and the May issue has articles on British Pilots Licences, a reminder that not everything is online and archives still hold plenty to interest the genealogist, child labour in the Victorian period, genealogy theme fiction, book reviews,inns and pubs, a look at the county of Essex, online tools to aid genealogy and using census for breaking down brick walls.

I have only browsed through the magazine, it looks well presented and has a wide range of articles. At just 20 pages it won’t be able to carry the same range as other genealogy magazines, but then it’s price is very reasonable compared to the competitors. I’ll write more once I have had time to read through and have a better idea of the quality of the writing, but with authors such as Simon Fowler I expect a high standard.

Take a look at the website, take out a subscription and see what you think.

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


More Trafford Council Cemetery records go online

File:Sale - cemetery from Brooklands Bridge - - 831745.jpgDeceasedOnline have just uploaded another three cemeteries run by Trafford Council in the Greater Manchester area. This time it is Durham Lawn Cemetery at Altrinham, Sale Cemetery aka Sale Brooklands and Urmston Cemetery.

Durham Lawns records run from July 1963 – September 1996 so a fairly recent collection of records, Sale September 1862 to November 1999 and Urmston November 1892 to November 1999.

Records for the crematorium at Altringham will go online shortly.

The Greater Manchester area is being well covered by DeceasedOnline as they also offer records for the 7 cemeteries and 1 crematorium run by Bolton Council.

Image is owned by Whatlep and is licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.

5 Minute Genealogy episodes on FamilySearch

FamilySearch Learning CentreI’m seeing a lot of negativity about the new FamilySearch website, apart from my concerns about the Family Tree section, and I admit I haven’t looked into that very deeply, I can’t see what all the fuss is about. I suspect that for some people it is more about being familiar with the “old” FamilySearch and not liking change. I see in a blog post from Chris Paton that The National Archives, London is discontinuing their old search section and only offering the new Discovery search engine. Change is what happens as we journey through life so I can’t see why we think the genealogy world should stay static!

Anyway I will now get off my soapbox and continue with what I wanted to write about today !!

FamilySearch has a Learning Centre on the new site, I have written before about the videos, podcasts and written lessons that have been offered in the past, they are excellent and very helpful especially for beginners and those venturing into a new genealogical area or country. The new website offers the archived RootsTech presentation, well worth a look, the lessons that were on the old FamilySearch plus a new beginners course called “5 minute genealogy”. There are 21 episodes all broken down into 5 minute segments so that you can learn and then put into practice each step. The series is based around the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, but can be used wherever you live using the internet and Family History Centres.

I think these lessons, videos and podcasts will be of great help to existing genealogists and also the new generation of genealogists  that are just starting. The theme of RootsTech was to encourage younger people into family history and this new Learning Centre will do just that.


FamilySearch Learning Centre