Boer War Records online

File:Caton-Woodville 1.jpgOur good friends at FindMyPast have just added some Boer War records to their military collection. This time round they are all medal rolls which are useful genealogy records. The additions are

  • Queen’s South Africa medal rolls for: Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia), Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps, Maritzburg Ambulance Corps, Natal Field Artillery and Natal Volunteer Hotchkiss Gun Detachment
  • King’s South Africa rolls for: 9th Lancers, 12th Lancers, 10th Hussars, 11th Hussars and Imperial Yeomanry
  • Talana clasp for 1st Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers, Leicestershire Regiment and King’s Royal Rifle Corps

Also they have completed the Wepener clasp roll

We have Meurig Jones to thank for allowing FindMyPast to offer these records to subscribers.

www.findmypast.co.uk

image – The Boer War by Richard Caton Woodville 1856 – 1927

Legacies of British Slave-ownership

Legacies of British Slave-ownershipUniversity College London has launched a website which will challenge our feelings towards some of our ancestors. You can’t judge your fore-bears because you haven’t stood in their shoes, haven’t lived in their society and can’t possibly know the whole story, but we might not always like what we find.

Sometime ago I discovered a will of a brother of one of my direct line ancestor who left the family home and travel to America. The will left a number of slaves to his son along with land and personal possessions. How did I feel …. mortified, but whilst I can and do condemn the business of one human being being enslaved to another I can’t judge the man. He was English, he went to America to better himself and in so doing he complied with what was normal for the time, he had slaves.

The UCL has two projects which are looking at the impact slavery had on the formation of modern Britain, the Legacies of British Slave Ownership database is the outcome of the first. Structure and significance of British Caribbean slave-ownership 1763 – 1833 is the second.

I can report, with some relief that my ancestor doesn’t feature in the database, but a search under the name Smith brought forth 325 individuals. I chose the first entry as an example.

Sarah Arrowsmith of the estate Dick’s Last Shift

of St Andrews, Jamaica

Claim dated 30 November 1835 for £522 13s 1d

22 enslaved

If family names are found then a certain amount of background reading would be required before the data discovered on this website can be understood.

An interesting website for which UCL is to be congratulated, but one that some family historians might find challenging.

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/

Criminal Records 1817 – 1931

Criminal Records 1817 - 1931

FindMyPast has just released a new collection of criminal records 1817 – 1931, additional records will be added in the coming months to make the complete dataset 1770 – 1934.

The original records are kept at The National Archives and among the records which will be available online today are:

  • Admiralty registers of convicts in prison hulks between 1818-1831 (ADM 6)
  • After trial calendars of prisoners from the Central criminal court between 1855-1931 (CRIM 9)
  • Calendar of Prisoners in Home Office records 1868-1929 (HO 140)
  • Criminal petitions 1817-1858 (HO 17)
  • Metropolitan Police records of habitual drunkards for the period 1903-1914 (MEPO 6)
  • Prison Commission records for 1880-1885 (PCOM 2)

A search for Henry Matkin gave the following details

Number 72
Name Henry Matkin (indicted with No. 41 in the Calendar)
Age 28
Trade Glazier
Degree of Instruction Imp.
Name & Address of Committing Magistrate J Vaughan Esq. Bow Street Court
Date of Warrant 5 May 1885
When received into Custody 13 May 1885
Offence Assaulting Joseph Payne, a police constable acting in the execution of his duty
Before whom tried J D Fletcher Esq.
Verdict of Jury Not guilty
Previous Convictions —–
Sentence or Order of Court —–

Depending on which type of record you get come up in a search depends on the information given. Some records have accompanying photographs of the accused, sadly there was no such photo of Henry (he is one of my ancestors).

A very interesting set of records to have at our fingertips especially for those who like me have more than their fair share of criminal ancestors!

www.findmypast.co.uk

 

The Times of India BMD Announcements 1920

clip_image002The Families in British India Society has just put online Births, Marriage & Death announcements from The Times of India newspaper for the year 1920. The members of this society work very hard to bring to the web an amazing array of material concerning families who lived in India.

Karachi 1866

Many of us will have ancestors who spent time in India and the FBIS website should be your first port of call if you think that some of your family may have travel to Indian subcontinent.

The FBIS website offers visitors to the website access to a database of over one million names plus a wiki of background information. New recruits to the society are always welcome and have access to additional resources and fellow member interests.

As always the genealogists friend Wikipedia has a good article on the British Raj 1858 – 1947.

http://networkedblogs.com/GTN9r

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Raj

London Livery Companies 1400 – 1900

The Institute of Historical Studies have placed online a searchable database of Apprentices and Freemen in the City of London Livery Companies between 1400 and 1900. The database is a work in progress and is a collaboration between The Centre for The Records of London's Livery Companies Online (ROLLCO).Metropolitan History, The Clothworkers’ Company, The Drapers’ Company, The Goldsmiths’ Company and The Mercers’ Company.

The database at the time of this post contains information from The Clothworkers’ Company 1545 – 1908 and The Drapers’ Company 1400 – 1900 and a sample of the data from the The Goldsmiths’ Company 1600 – 1700. More data will be added this later year.

A search for the name Pottinger in the records of the Clothworkers’ Company yielded 32 results. As an example one of the entries in the list of Pottingers gave the following information.

Year of event 1736
Name Eliza Pottinger
Gender Female
Occupation Sawyer
Location Facing The Vine Tavern, Holborn
Company Archive Clothworker
Event Apprenticeship
Role Master
Status Widow

As can be seen quite a lot of useful information can be found just from the index. No doubt further details can be found on application to the Livery Company Archives.

FindMyPast has an Index of Apprenticeship Taxes that has been compiled by the Society of Genealogists. It’s not all that easy to use, be prepared to work through several pages before you hit the surname you require. Below is an example of what you can expect to find.

58/191 – 1772 POTTINGER, Geo to Jn Morbey of Banbury, Oxon tay £5

The original taxation documents are held at the National Archives.

It is worth running a surname search through the A2A website as some Apprenticeship papers show up there with details of where the originals can be found. The index alone gives quite a lot of useful information. An example

Apprenticeship agreement between John Hill of Stratford upon Avon and William George Morris of Stratford upon Avon, scrivener, for a term of 5 years. 1801. The agreement also attests that John Rowden Westbury [the guardian of John Hill] shall provide clothes and wearing apparel.

Ancestry has the Freedom of the City of Londonclip_image002[5] Admission Papers, 1681-1925 which would be worth searching as many apprenticeship papers are included in the collection plus many apprentices went onto become Freeman of the City. The information that can be found is

  • Surname
  • Date of indenture
  • Parent or guardian’s name
  • County of residence
  • Master’s name

\With this collection you get to see a scan of the original papers which is always preferable to an index or transcript.

Finally should you find an apprentice or master in one of the databases it is always worth looking at their websites, some links below. The sites usually give excellent histories of the company as well as insights into their present work.

http://www.history.ac.uk/cmh/main

http://www.londonroll.org/home

http://www.clothworkers.co.uk/

http://www.thedrapers.co.uk/

http://www.thegoldsmiths.co.uk/

http://www.mercers.co.uk/

http://www.findmypast.co.uk

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a

www.ancestry.co.uk

Do search for Apprentices and Masters in your genealogy, the results can be most rewarding!