Surrey Historic Records go online in 2013

Surrey Historic Records go online in 2013.

Surrey Historic RecordsIt’s amazing how the internet allows news, good & bad, to whizz round so quickly ! Thanks to Chris Paton & Kathryn Hughes on Twitter for the great news that the Bishop of Guildford has allowed to start to scan and put online the parish registers of Surrey. The Surrey History Centre has also entered into a partnership with Ancestry so that a wide range of Surrey records will be made available next year.

The Surrey History Centre has issued a statement that tells researchers that whilst the process of scanning the images is taking place some records each day will not be available. A phone call in advance of any visit would be advisable.  

The records being scanned are

  • Church of England parish registers from 1538 (baptisms to 1912, marriages to 1937 and burials to 1987)
  • Land tax records 1780-1832
  • Electoral registers 1832-1945
  • Brookwood Hospital Woking, Registers of Admissions 1867-1906
  • Holloway Sanatorium, General Registers 1885-1904
  • Calendar of prisoners: Surrey Sessions and Assizes 1848-1902
  • Freeholders Lists 1696-1824
  • Licensed victuallers 1785-1903
  • Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment enlistment registers 1920-1946
  • Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment transfers in registers 1939-1947
  • Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment World War II Honours Indexes [1939]-1946
  • East Surrey Regiment enlistment registers 1920-1946
  • East Surrey Regiment transfers in registers 1924-1946
  • East Surrey Regiment 21st – 24th Battalions the London Regiment Nominal Rolls of Officers 1914-1919

Great news if you have Surrey ancestors and remember that Surrey has Middlesex as one of it’s neighbours and that means that these records could of great help to those who have lost people in Middlesex/London.

30 year rules to be reduced to 20 years

Some government records are kept from public eyes for 30 or more years. Good news from the Federation of Family History Societies …..

Government confirms transition to ‘20-year rule’ will begin from 2013

The Government will move towards releasing records when they are 20 years old instead of 30 from next year, making thousands of historical records public much earlier than previously possible.

From 2013, two years’ worth of government records will need to be transferred to The National Archives over a 10 year transition period until a new ‘20-year rule’ is reached in 2023. After this point, government will revert to transferring a single year’s worth of 20 year old records to The National Archives each year.

The move from a 30-year rule represents a major change for government and must be managed in an affordable way. As such, a phased approach will be adopted. The transition beginning in 2013, will apply to the majority of public records transferred to The National Archives and 70 institutions that act as their own place of deposit, with the exception of records selected for transfer to one of the 116 local authority places of deposit, where the impact of introducing the change now could outweigh any benefit. The intention is to commence a second 10 year transitional period for these organisations from 2015, subject to the outcome of a full impact and cost assessment.

The announcement on Friday, 14 July follows the completion of The Review of the 30 Year Rule in 2009 and the government’s decision to introduce a 20-year rule.

What is The National Archives doing for local authority places of deposit?

Local government is facing additional budgetary constraints and we want to ensure the balance of burden and benefit to local authority places of deposit and their local communities is maintained despite challenging circumstances. As a result, ministers have agreed that impact and costs of introducing a ‘20-year rule’ must be established before these archives begin transition to ensure implementation is managed in an affordable and transparent way.

We are working to help ensure that the transition to a ‘20-year rule’ has minimal impact by:

  • Involving these organisation on the impact and cost assessment
  • identifying efficiencies in record selection and transfer process and providing updated guidance, and
  • ensuring any benefits resulting from the first transition are shared with local authority archives.

Calendar of Patent Rolls

For most genealogists the big question having read the title of this post is what are Calendar of Patent RollsPatent Rolls? And why not ask the question because they aren’t standard genealogy fare. Here is a description written by National Archives …..

Grants of official positions, or land, or commissions are made by the Crown as letters patent (i.e. open letters) issued under the Great Seal. They are addressed ‘To all to whom these presents shall come’. Copies were and are enrolled (to act as a record) on the Patent Rolls, now in The National Archives, in C 66.

The Patent Rolls run in almost unbroken series from 1201 to the present day (although there are significant gaps for the Civil War and Interregnum period). Latin is the usual language in the early period, but some entries are in English even in the sixteenth century. In the 1650s and after 1733 all entries are in English.

They record a huge variety of documents issued under the Great Seal – treaties, charters, grants of land, offices, titles and pensions, judicial commissions, pardons, patents for inventions, licences, leases of crown lands, presentations to churches, grants of markets and fairs, etc.

I have no idea why the University of Iowa should have these Patent Rolls on their website, but they do and they are freely available for use by researchers and teachers. All they ask is that you acknowledge the source and of course as good genealogists you would do that Smile

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British in India

clip_image002If you have ancestors who spent time in India then Emma Jolly’s website will be of interest to you. Emma has just published a book Tracing Your British Indian Ancestors and is an expert in this field of genealogical research.

There are lots of links on the various pages to help you to get to know the documents left behind by those who swapped the grey skies of England for the burning sun of India.

Tudor Coroners Reports

clip_image002Oxford University fellow Dr Steven Gunn is heading a project to learn more about the deaths in Tudor times which were reported to the Coroner.

The original documents are house at The National Archives under record series KB9.

I have been unable to find out if the study will be available online once completed in four years time, but if it is then it will be a most interesting resource for family historians.

The University website says ….

History Fellow, Dr Steven Gunn, is leading a team undertaking a four-year project studying coroners’ reports of accidental deaths in Tudor England.

Amongst the tragi-comic tales of misfortune, such as standing too near to archery targets or indeed performing bears, lies an incident that may shed light on one of the most iconic moments in the works of Shakespeare.

Two-and-a-half-year old Jane Shaxspere drowned in a millpond whilst picking flowers, not twenty miles from William Shakespeare’s home town of Stratford-upon-Avon. William would have been five at the time of the incident and it is possible that Jane was his cousin. The parallels between this incident and the death of Ophelia in Hamlet are striking.

“It might just be a coincidence, but the links to Ophelia are certainly tantalising,” commented Dr Gunn. “Coroners’ reports of fatal accidents are a useful and hitherto under-studied way of exploring everyday life in Tudor England.”