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.

Bedlam Hospital Records now online<p><!   Google Ads Injected by Adsense Explosion 1.1.5   ><div class=adsxpls id=adsxpls1 style=padding:20px; display: block; margin left: auto; margin right: auto; text align: center;><!   AdSense Plugin Explosion num: 1   ><script type=text/javascript><!  

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<script type=text/javascript src=http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show ads.js></script></div></p>FindMyPast 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.”Bedlam Hospital Records now online<p><!   Google Ads Injected by Adsense Explosion 1.1.5   ><div class=adsxpls id=adsxpls1 style=padding:20px; display: block; margin left: auto; margin right: auto; text align: center;><!   AdSense Plugin Explosion num: 1   ><script type=text/javascript><!  

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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/

Bunhill Fields Burials now online

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One of most fascinating burial grounds in London is now online – Bunhill Fields. North of the square mile of the City of London this is where your non-conformist/dissenter ancestors may well have been buried. The original records are kept at the National Archives under RG4. The time span for this collection is 1713 – 1854.

Wikipedia has a good page on Bunhill – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bunhill_Fields

As does the Blake Society – http://www.blakesociety.org/blakes-grave/bunhill-fields-a-history/

It looks as if it might be a sunny weekend so nothing like a new set of genealogy data to browse whilst in a deck-chair in the garden Bunhill Fields Burials now online<p><!   Google Ads Injected by Adsense Explosion 1.1.5   ><div class=adsxpls id=adsxpls2 style=padding:20px; display: block; margin left: auto; margin right: auto; text align: center;><!   AdSense Plugin Explosion num: 2   ><script type=text/javascript><!  

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 https://www.deceasedonline.com

Image – Creative Commons David Williams http://www.geograph.org.uk/profile/2216

Spectator Archive

Spectator ArchiveIsn’t the internet marvellous ? Always something popping up that you weren’t aware of that will be useful in your genealogy. This time it is the Spectator Archive website. This publication started in 1828 and for the period 1828 – 2008 every page has been scanned and digitised, each article tagged and extracted, so that you can search the whole archive by content, keyword, topic, location, and date. Plus this is online free of charge Spectator Archive

http://archive.spectator.co.uk/

West Yorkshire Reform Schools 1779-1914

West Yorkshire Reform Schools 1779 1914Do you have ancestors that might have, through bad deeds or plain bad luck, ended up an inmate at a West Yorkshire Reform School ?  This new database from Ancestry covers

Calder Farm Reformatory

East Moor Community Home School

Shadwell Children’s Centre.

And includes admissions, commitments, and discharges records, so a wide range of data. The information you can expect to find is

 

  • name
  • age
  • birth date and place
  • father’s name
  • mother’s name

West Yorkshire Reform Schools 1779 1914Also if you are lucky you might also find

  • Photo
  • Physical description
  • Baptism details
  • School attended
  • Criminal history
  • Admission details
  • Religion
  • Other relatives and addresses
  • Trade or occupation

The privacy cut-off date for these records is 1914.

Ancestry.co.uk

Commission into Children’s Employment 1842

Commission into Children’s Employment 1842We can’t imagine allowing our children to work down mines, but in early Victorian England that was what was happening and the outcome was a report entitled Commission into Children’s Employment 1842.

In 1840 the government set up a Royal Commission into child labour and the conditions that children found themselves working in. It took two years before a report into conditions in mines was published, followed later by reports on children working in trades and factories.

The commissioners spoke not only to employers, but also to the children themselves asking what their working lives were like and came up with a series of measures to protect the children whilst still allowing them to continue to be part of the work force. The morality of all of this is a whole subject on it’s own, but what concerns us as genealogists is that Ancestry has put online an indexed copy of the commissions report.

The indexing has been completed by a team of volunteers who give their time freely to make the Commission into Children’s Employment 1842 easily accessible to genealogists via the Ancestry World Archives Scheme. Anyone can join in and even if you have only a few minutes to spare. More details are available on the Ancestry website.

Back to the Commission into Children’s Employment 1842 report. You can search the index by first and last names and also put in keywords. The children, also some parents were asked a series of questions and the report noted the following

  • name
  • age
  • type of work
  • working conditions
  • hours worked
  • pay
  • whether they go to school
  • housing
  • what they ate at home

An interesting dataset that is a glimpse into the working lives of our child ancestors.

www.ancestry.co.uk