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.

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.

Genealogy Snippets 11 July 2012

Genealogy Snippets are short news items that I think you would want to hear about sooner rather than later.

1. Family Search has just put online 76 million new records, those guys never do things in small numbers !! Amongst the countries covered are Canada, Ireland and New Zealand.

2. The Family History Library in Salt Lake City has added more books to their collection. These items are only available for viewing at the library. For a list of the books click on

3. FindMyPast has just added to it’s Kent collection with 12,832 burials from Greenwich, Kent. Greenwich is on the edges of London so if you are missing someone in London then it would be worthwhile searching in the Kent collection for them. Date range is 1748 – 1793.

4.FindMyPast has also added to its Wales Collection, this time it is for the parish of Llanymawddwy, Mallwyd. Baptisms 1568 – 1894, Marriages 1568 – 1837 and Burials 1813 – 1888.

Think that is all the snippets for today, but I have just seen that Find My Past has just put up a major collection and that deserves a full post.

Welsh Parish Registers online

Welsh Parish Registers FindMyPast

I usually confine myself to English records because that is where my area of expertise is, but I have been asked to include notices about additions to the collections offered by Ancestry and FindMyPast. So here goes ….

FindMyPast has added 2 million records to their Welsh Parish Register Collection. This is the first time that Welsh parish records have been made available online.

The new addition consists of

Baptisms: 2,083,430 records covering 1538-1912

Marriages: 1,226,650 records covering 1539-1927

Banns: 557,078 records covering 1603-1927

Burials: 2,057,453 records covering 1539-2007

These records cover the following counties: Anglesey, Brecknockshire, Caernarvonshire, Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Glamorganshire, Merionethshire, Monmouthshire, Montgomeryshire, Pembrokeshire and Radnorshire.

The Welsh County Archivists Group and the National Library of Wales are the holders of the original records.

Find My Past Discount for June

Find My Past Family History Genealogy

FindMyPast is offering a 10% discount on subscription until the end of this month. So now is a good time to subscribe !!

You simply type in the Code JUNE10OFF when entering your details and enjoy more pennies in your pocket for other genealogy goodies Smile

Offer valid until 30 June 2012. Offer only apply to subscription.

Click here to subscribe and get the discount