Abney Park Cemetery Records

Abney Park GenealogyIn 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 2 Genealogy

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

Goosey School House genealogyAlong 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.

Ancestry.co.uk 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 Genealogy MistakesAncestry.com.au 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 !!


The Spectator Archive now online

The Spectator Archives Genealogy

The Spectator was first published in June 1828 and then as now it reported on the world current affairs from a British point of view. Not everyone will have a member of their family mentioned in this publication, but those who do will find a rich vein of information. Also of interest to family historians will be the reports written about the events of the day, these were written at the time and will have an immediacy that perhaps history books might lack.

As an example I put in the surname Pottinger and came up with 137 results, 106 of which referred to material written in the 1840’s concerning Sir Henry Pottinger who came from the Irish side of the family and his activities in Hong Kong and India. To test a search for background information I put TonyPandy Riots into the search box and it came up with 3 articles about these now largely forgotten riots of 1910 & 1911.

Well worth spending some time on, but beware like all research into newspaper archives it is very easy to get sidetracked !


Wombles Family Tree

FindMyPast YouTube Video

I came across this FindMyPast YouTube video from WDYTYA Live 2013, presented by Myko Clelland of FindMyPast, it gives a good basic outline of how to trace your family history using FindMyPast and as an example they use the Womble family! It is 27 minutes long so won’t take up much time and is worth a look if you are interested in starting your genealogy journey.

Plus don’t forget the lessons that can be found on this website www.madaboutgenealogy.com just click on the “Family History Lessons” tab at the top of this page.