Free Online History Courses

Free Online History CoursesMost genealogists are also history lovers so I was interested to see that Yale University offers some of it’s courses including history subjects online free of charge. The course material is downloadable and the lectures are online on YouTube. No credits or certificates are awarded for completing these course, you simply work your way through the material, watch the videos and learn for the sheer joy of acquiring knowledge Free Online History Coursesabout a favourite subject.

OpenLearn is the U.K. Open University’s version of free online learning, again course material is easily downloaded and OpenLearn offers some interaction with other students.

Free Online History CoursesLast, but no means least there is the 140 online genealogy courses offered freely by the FamilySearch team. Divided into countries and subjects there is sure to be something here that will expand your knowledge whether you are a beginner or more experienced researcher.



Open Yale Courses



RootsTech Videos now back online

RootsTech Videos now back onlineThe videos of some of the presentations given at RootsTech 2012 & 2013 disappeared or weren’t working for a while and I had a number of queries from people asking if I knew where they had gone. Well I don’t know where they were then, but I do know where they are now !!!

You can find then at , I have watched all these videos and have enjoyed them all. The one on the importance of storytelling whether it is of our stories or our ancestors stories I found thought provoking and made me resolve to write more about my ancestors. Thomas MacEntee, Jay Verkler and Joshua Taylor are just some of the high profile keynote speakers from the 2012 conference.

These top quality speakers are always worth listening to.

Abney Park Cemetery Records

Abney Park Cemetery RecordsIn the talk I give about London Cemeteries and their records I mention Abney Park the non-conformist cemetery which is part of the group of burial grounds known as the Magnificent Seven. Yesterday I needed to look at the Abney Park burial records, did a Google search for them and found that the website for the registers has had a revamp and offers more information that it used to. Must update my PowerPoint slides before I give the talk again!

The new website requires registration, but this is very easy to do. Once in you are offered a Basic Search, an Advanced Search, a Compare Gedcom facility and Manage Interests. I didn’t use the last two, but I gather the three option offers the ability to compare a Gedcom file with the records and compares the names on your file to what is in the cemetery file. Very clever.

I used one of my London surnames Southwell in the basic search and it came up with 14 graves of people with that surname. I chose John Southwell 1806 – 1881 and it flip up a side panel showing that John’s entry in the database was number 039500 and that John was buried 11 August 1881 aged 75 years also in the grave was Susan Southwell buried 15 May 1867 aged 69 years, this is so helpful for grouping families together if the grave isn’t a common/paupers grave but a privately owned one.

Abney Park Cemetery Records

The grave location of H03 was given so I could locate and visit it if I wished to. Clicking on this location brings up a map of the cemetery which would make finding the grave easier, but do bear in mind that it now is quite overgrown in parts and is run partly as a nature reserve. Winter would be a good time to visit as the undergrowth will have died down.

Clicking on a + sign next to the name brought up a panel where I could enter my interest in this person and put in a website link plus comments if I wished. The idea is that if someone else looks for this person and see your interest they can then make contact. A great facility and this is where the Manage Interest area comes in.

This is a delight of a website and a credit to John Greenwood who looks after the site. I lost my password and he kindly emailed me with a replacement word which made me smile. Hopefully you won’t be as careless as I was in forgetting my password, but if you do I can guarantee that the replacement will amuse you!

Historic School Records to go online

Historic School Records to go onlineAlong the lines of it never rains, but it pours I have several items to post on today so here goes! Please note that they will all be done as separate posts. has had online the school records held by the London Metropolitan Archives for quite some time now and very useful they have been too. So I was pleased to get a press release from BrightSolid to say that they have come to an agreement with the Archives and Records Association (UK & Ireland) to digitise, index and put online school records from elsewhere in the UK.

The records span 1870 – 1914 and covers every region of England & Wales and whilst they say the records cover every region I’m not convinced they mean every school is going to appear, we shall have to wait and see. Having said that one hundred and twenty archives are taking part so coverage will be quite wide-spread.



Archives and Records Association



Image:- Goosey, Berkshire School House copyright Linda Elliott

Ten Common Research Mistakes

Ten Common Research have just put up a blog post that I think we all should read ….. regularly ……. the same as we should all read a beginners book on family history every year. You are never too experienced a genealogist to be reminded of what you probably knew, but had forgotten !!