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.

Bromsgrove Messenger newspaper now online

Bromsgrove Messenger

The Bromsgrove branch of the Birmingham & Midlands Society for Genealogy & Heraldry have digitised their local paper the Bromsgrove Messenger and uploaded the images onto their website. The time period covered is 1860 – 1937. The newspaper hasn’t been indexed, so must be browsed page by page.

What a valuable resource for those with family from this area and all due to the labours of one man Martin Stephens who is a member of the Bromsgrove branch of the BMSHG.

Definitely a Genealogy Saint !

Isle of Man Online Records

Isle of Man Genealogy

Further to my recent post on Manx records I see that FamilySearch have upload Isle of Man Deaths and Burials, 1844-1911. The description notes that the collection is of 42,389 records, but is not complete for the whole of the island.

Interesting that so much activities on Manx genealogy seems to to have burst upon the genealogy scene all at once.

Also, of course, if you have Isle of Man genealogy you should consider joining the Isle of Man Family History Society.

Bedfordshire Parish Transcripts available on CD

The Bedfordshire Family History Society has produced CD’s F G Emmisonof the parish register transcripts and other records that they hold. The transcripts, I assume, are those made by F.G. Emmison who worked at the Bedfordshire Record office for some years. The Emmison transcripts have been available on fiche for a long time, but it is good news that they are now available on CD as the machines for reading the microfiche are becoming almost extinct.

The CD’s are priced from £10 and one CD covers one parish. Each CD has a parish map showing where in Bedfordshire the parish lies, a 19th century description of the parish (possibly from Lewis Topographical?), photographs of the church & village, images of the printed transcripts from start of the parish registers to 1812, then searchable transcripts from 1812 to approximately 1851 for baptisms and burials and 1837 for marriages. Also included are images of the 1851 census index for the parish compiled by the Bedfordshire FHS. you are lucky you may also find loaded onto the CD Monumental Inscriptions for the churchyard and other graveyards within the parish, I also noted that some parishes have non-conformist register transcripts also included on the CD. As Bedfordshire was a hot bed for non-conformists this is a valuable addition to the CD.

I have ancestors in Eaton Socon and using that parish as an example I find that the £25 CD included

  • St Mary Baptisms 1566-1852
  • St Mary Marriages 1573-1837
  • St Mary Marriage Surname Index 1573-1837
  • St Mary Burials 1567-1851
  • Monumental Inscriptions – St Mary (compiled by Bedfordshire FHS)
    Monumental Inscriptions – St Mary 1400-2009 (compiled by Eatons Community Association)
  • Non-Conformist Registers – Bedford Methodist Circuit Class Book 1781-1806

I am surprised that Ancestry or FindMyPast haven’t obtained rights to publish these transcripts online, so buying the CD’s is an economic way for researchers who live some distance from the Bedfordshire Archives to search the transcripts.

Hidden Lives – The Children’s Society

The Hidden Lives website might not supply any names for your family history, but it does give a glimpse into the lives of the children who came under the care of The Waifs & Strays’ Society now know as The Children’s Society. The site focuses on the time period 1881 – 1918 and is made up of documents from the society’s archives. There is background information about children’s homes, fully searchable editions of the various publications of the society, photographs of the children and also examples of case files.

The society cared for children both in their residential homes and also in the community. None of the children are identified by name, but if you find one of your ancestors who were taken care of by The Children’s Society or a similar organisation this website will give you an understanding of the work undertaken to alleviate the suffering of the children and the lives of the children themselves.