The Great Parchment Book now online

Great Parchment Book GenealogyThe London Metropolitan Archives have been conserving, digitising and preparing for online publication the Great Parchment Book which is a survey of the estates of the Irish Society and City Livery companies in Northern Ireland. The survey dates from 1639, so this is an important online release for those of us who have family in Northern Ireland around that time period.

There is a 5 minute introduction video which I can recommend as it gives an overview of the history of the document. You can search under people, places and companies. there is also a blog where you can keep up to date on the project.

Sadly none of my Northern Ireland names come up, but it is worth the few minutes it takes to undertake a search to see if your family feature in this very interesting book.


Sussex Parish Registers now online free

Sussex Parish Registers GenealogyFamilySearch has uploaded parish register images and indexes for Sussex 1530 – 1900, it’s hard to tell if every parish is online yet, but I recommend that you look at the Wiki as this has a coverage list. The press release from FamilySearch show that 110,000+ records have been indexed and there are 5,147 images available so don’t expect images for every parish, in fact I think this number of images would amount to just about one parish.

Taking into account the above this is still an important addition to the FamilySearch Parish register Collection and I have no doubt that the rest of the images will be going online in the near future. Those of you who read an earlier post may remember me reporting Diane Loosle from the Family History Library in Salt Lake saying that all the films and fiche stored in the famous granite vaults will have been digitised and online with 5 – 7 years, indexing will take 100 years at present rate of progress. If you would like to help with indexing I am sure they would be pleased to hear from you, link below.



Images – Looking down the hill to All Saints Church, Old Heathfield © Copyright Andrew Hill and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

British Telecom Digital Archives

BT Archive GenealogyIf you have an ancestor who worked in the telecommunication industry then this new online digital archive will be of interest. It is a joint venture by BT, Coventry University and The National Archives to bring together more then half a million images, letters and other documents dating back to 1846.

I put the surname Roberts into their quick search and it came up with 271 references, I chose an entry that looks interesting and this information came up……………

Claim for wayleave payment by W T H Roberts of Birling, Kent

Finding Number   POST 30/1042C

Level   File

Extent   1 folder

Date   1903

Creator Name   Post Office registry

Admin History   W T H Roberts made a complaint that a line of telegraph poles passed through his private property. He claimed for wayleave payment. The case was also known as the Pilgrim’s Way case.

Description   Papers relating to a claim for wayleave payment by W T H Roberts of Birling, Kent including correspondence with Roberts; plan showing the route of line; sketches showing the poles; and consents by the Malling Rural District Council and the District Council for the Rural District of Strood, Kent for the construction and maintenance by the Post Office of a line of telegraphs at the side of the road between Birling post office and the Black Boy Public House, Upper Halling via Standgate Road and Old Pilgrim Road. Former file reference E 18469/1903.

Format   Manuscript

Language   English

Condition   Good

Fascinating document if you have the Roberts family of Birling on your family tree.

The image collection looks to be a real asset if your family worked in the early days of telegraph whether it was laying cables to working at the Post Office.

FamilySearch Maps


Thank to my friend Judy I now know about the FamilySearch Maps. She emailed me the link and asked how long they had been online – who knows? Certainly I don’t ! If you haven’t had a look at them then go and take a look as soon as you have finished reading this…..

You can opt in or out of several layers showing

  • Parish
  • County
  • Civil Registration District
  • Diocese
  • Rural Deanery
  • Poor Law Union
  • Hundred
  • Province
  • Division

Also there is a function whereby you can get various lists

  • Contiguous parishes
  • Radius place search

And then finally you can click to be taken to the

  • Search page
  • Catalogue
  • Family Tree page
  • Wiki

This is such a wonderful facility that it has already found it’s way onto my toolbar and I recommend that you earmark it as a favourite on your computer as well.

Thanks Judy Smile


1921 Canadian Census now online

1921 Census Canada GenealogyAncestry have released the digitised images of the Canadian 1921 census. They aren’t indexed yet so searching has to be conducted the “old” way – page by page. Like many English researchers I have ancestors who got on a boat for a whole variety of reasons and traded England for Canada. Again like others some of mine stayed and their descendants are still there whilst others decided that the wide open spaces of Canada wasn’t for them and returned. 

These records will be indexed in the fullness of time, but if you know approximately where your Canadian ancestors might have been living in 1921 then you will enjoy browsing these records.