New FamilySearch website launched

The new designed FamilySearch website has been launched, apart from the completely new look to the site there has been several new facilities added. The major addition is the much debated Family Trees. The idea is that if all genealogists put their genealogy onto the FamilySearch Family Trees researchers would be able to collaborate and share information making the trees much fuller and bigger. Other additions are Fan Charts that can be viewed and printed, the ability to preserve and share family photos and Live Help which means you can contact experienced FamilySearch assistants who will with genealogy queries.

All this is great and FamilySearch is to be commended for their work which they share with all regardless of their religious beliefs. Personally I’m not sold on the idea of putting my research onto their family trees section where anyone can amend it without contact and discussion with me. However I haven’t investigated the trees in depth and may well change my mind later!

I did do a test search of the trees and entered my grandmother, Eliza Bint, into the trees search and amongst the results found her with the right year of her birth and her parents were named, but no sources of where the information was found and no way of knowing how the information came to be on there. I’ll be watching the site during the next few months.

The photograph section was unavailable when I checked due to overwhelming response. This section does excites me as I think it will become THE place to look for family photos. When it becomes available then I shall be taking a good look.

Overall the site has a good feel and is a great asset to the genealogy world.

Bedford St Pauls burials online

Photo: Although the last posting mentioned some data from northern England coming online soon, later this week we'll be adding a smaller but historically interesting dataset in Bedfordshire.  These records date back to the 16th Century and include a Lord Mayor of London.  The picture is of this historic church next to the cemetery. A much larger dataset for a well known and substantial part of Greater Manchester will be added later this month.As you will know I’m a great fan of DeceasedOnline and no I’m not on their payroll !! I’m an enthusiast because they are putting such useful records online and also because I have had such good fortune to find the burial place for many of my London families in their records.

Of course they do offer records outside of London, but so far not in the areas I was interested in, yesterday however they put online the burials from St Paul’s, Bedford 1567 – 1855. The parish of St Paul’s is where some of my Cannon and Speechley families lived and a quick search has shown that there are definitely some burials of interest there. William Speechley

Bedford was a hotbed of non-conformists and John Bunyan and John Wesley preached at St Paul’s. The church has a website which gives a good background to the history of the parish.

DeceasedOnline also announced that with regret they have had to raise their prices, but in compensation they have doubled the discount if you buy 100 or more credits. Still good value.

Lastly I’m told that coming in the next few weeks are records from a major council in Greater Manchester which should keep my friend Jill very happy and registers from one of the “Magnificent Seven” London cemeteries. If you attended my presentation on the Unlock The Past cruise in February you will know which cemetery this is ….. if you didn’t well …….. you’ll just have to wait and see ….. a clue it begins with B Winking smile

Ancestry Reference Desk

I’ve just come across the blog for the Ancestry Library Edition, a post by the Ancestry Insider pointed me in that direction as the PDF’s from some of the RootsTech  presentations are online there. Whilst you don’t have an audio of the talk, the PDF’s are interesting and it is easy to fill in the gaps. Not as good as being there, but better than nothing!

Anne Gillespie Mitchell is the author of the blog and she is obviously an experienced genealogist and know Ancestry’s website well. The posts sometimes have a short video attached  which is always good, others have screen shots. The posts I have read have all been interesting and helpful. Another good blog to add to my RSS feed.

Thank you to the Ancestry Insider!

RootsTech & WDYTYA? Live Videos Online

WDYTYA Live 2013If like me you weren’t at RootsTech 2013 all is not lost, there is the official website with the Keynote and a small number of other presentations plus there is YouTube. The official bloggers at the conference were given access to what sounds like a pretty professional studio to record interviews with presenters, other bloggers and attendees.

DearMyrtle (Pat Richley-Erickson), Lisa Louise Cooke and Jill Ball have a great selection of interviews, it would have been good to see some English bloggers recording interviews, but as yet I haven’t found any. However the videos that are on YouTube are interesting and informative.

I wasn’t able to attend Who Do You Think You Are Live either so a quick search turned up a variety of videos on YouTube for that event also. Hopefully video interviews at conferences and also presentations will become more popular and I look forward to seeing what next years conferences bring.

To access videos simply go to YouTube and enter Rootstech or Who Do You Think You Are Live in the search box and then choose whichever video appeals to you. Enjoy Winking smile


Manor Park Cemetery Records now complete has announced the completion of the Manor Park Cemetery & Crematorium records. The records span the time period 25th March 1875 to January 2010. Manor Park is unusual in the fact that it has been owned and run by the same family since it establishment in 1875. This cemetery is well cared for and is still in  operation, making it easy for those whose ancestors are buried there.

Annie Chapman one of Jack the Ripper’s victims is buried here along with Winston Churchill’s nanny showing that the cemetery was open for all regardless of social standing.

DeceasedOnline are currently digitising 2.6 million burial and cremation records to add to their database, from 16 burial and cremation authorities around the UK. 1.7 million further records have been digitised from another 18 authorities and are due to be added this year. Plus they are in serious talks with a further 94 authorities about bringing nearly 12 million more records to the website. So lots to look forward to !