New Workhouse Records Online has put some interesting workhouse records online. I hadn’t heard of this series of records recording every adult in a workhouse for 5 years or

more before. It appears that in 1861 the House of Commons ordered that the name, time spent in the workhouse, the reason for admission to the workhouse and whether they had been bought up in a district or workhouse school be compiled and the results analysed. What they were trying to achieve I can’t imagine as it wasn’t going to stop poverty or ill health which were the main causes for admission into the workhouse.

Anyway as genealogists we can be grateful that this list of about 67,800 adults is now available for us to search. I can see this will be a useful addition to the 1861 census as it captures the names of those who died prior to that census. Shown is an example of the records. I shall run my family names through the search and see who pops up I can think of one or two who should be in there !





London, Edinburgh and Belfast Gazettes

The Gazette - MadAboutGenealogyGenealogists have been able to access historic gazettes for some years and very useful they have been in family history research. A recent press release from National Archives tells us that access to the gazettes has been improved and the website re-designed and re-launched.

The London Gazette is the oldest, continually published newspaper in the world. Although the three publications are know as the London Gazette, Edinburgh Gazette and the Belfast Gazette they contain details of individuals from all over the United Kingdom so a search is always worthwhile taking the time to do. A history of the gazette is available on the National Archives website.National Archives - MadAboutGenealogy

A search for one of my family names “Pottinger” came up with 654 entries dating from 1742 – July 2013 a wide range of dates and information. The earliest entry concerns an ancestor of mine John Pottinger of Compton, Berkshire, it calls for creditors to register with the Court of Chancery and the latest entry is a listing of a business in Belfast owned by a Peter Pottinger who almost certainly is a descendant of the Pottinger family who left Berkshire and moved to Northern Ireland. All sorts of genealogy treasure will be hidden amongst the other 652 entries. A good, wet Sunday  afternoon, project to work through them all !


Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britian

Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britian genealogyJames Taylor of the JGSGB kindly sent me notification of their 1st Family History Fair to be held on 7 July 2013 at Elstree. The fair will include family history exhibitors & vendors and also representatives of Jewish cultural organisations which will be very helpful for those dipping their toe into Jewish genealogy and culture for the first time.

There will also be translators on hand to help decipher Hebrew into English. However I suspect that the most important aspect for researchers will be the lectures given by experts on Jewish genealogy. Below is a list of the lectures on offer. Wouldn’t it be great if these could be videoed and made available online?

  • Functionalism and Intentionalism: is the debate still relevant? by Dr. Toby Simpson
  • Family Trees, SmartMatching, SuperSearch, RecordMatching and DNA Tests by Laurence Harris
  • From Tolerance to Expulsion by Dr John Richmond FFA, BA, MA, PhD
  • An Unfinished Suit – A Promise to a Kinder Transportee by Rabbi Bernd Koshland
  • A Silence that Speaks by Susan Soyinka
  • Finding Jewish Roots in Poland by Susan Fifer BEd
  • Jews of Lithuania by Sam Aaron
  • From East End to Land’s End by Susan Soyinka
  • Is Zionism a Modern Invention? by Clive A Lawton JP, BA, MA, Med, MSc, CertEd, ADB(Ed)
  • Jewish Roots in Scotland by Harvey Kaplan MA
  • Online research resources and technique by Mark Bayley, B.SC (Hons)
  • Family Trees, SmartMatching, SuperSearch, RecordMatching and DNA Tests by Laurence Harris
  • The legal system and Nazi persecution by Janet Mills MBE, MA
  • Ask the Experts chaired by Michael Hoffman   Panel: Ric Cooper, Doreen Berger, Susan Wolf, and Reva Hill

More information available on the JGSGB website

Just who is on your family tree?

Charlemagne DNA GenealogyI’ve just come across a fascinating website , it’s theme is “What Makes You So Special: The Puzzle of Human Uniqueness”. It is a science based website, but several of the pages concern themselves with DNA and other subjects dear to a genealogists heart. One page in particular addresses the fact that statistically it can be proved that we are all related to one another.

A particular sentence caught my attention – “anyone who was alive 2,000 – 3,000 years ago is either an ancestor of everyone who is now alive, or no one at all”. This makes sense when you think that working backwards each generation doubles the number of direct descendants, so when you go back 40 generations (not likely on a typical family tree) then you would have a trillion direct ancestors when the world population is estimated to have been only about 300 million.

So we are all related to Charlemagne, Edward 1st, Cleopatra and so on. Makes for a colourful family tree!

Here are links to two articles I think you’ll find thought provoking –

Ethical Considerations

Ethical Considerations GenealogyGenealogists can get so immersed in tracing ancestors that some forget to consider the effects that some of their finds can have on the descendants. Crista Cowan of Ancestry has recently put online an excellent video about considerations to be thought about when dealing with some of the actions of our family both living and dead.

I keep a separate file with information which could cause upset to certain members of the family, there is nothing earth shattering in there, but I can see no point in distressing elderly relatives. The information is recorded for generations to come, but not for all to see at this present time.