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.

Manchester Maps Online Free


It’s the 4th day of the new year and at last MadAboutGenealogy has moved out of the cemetery !!! For those who haven’t caught up on my posts since the 1st January they have been about cemeteries and graveyards. Oh well it’s amazing what makes genealogists happy Winking smile

Today I am posting about the new release of Manchester maps, great news for my friend Jill who has all her ancestors within 50 miles of Manchester, she is a neat and tidy person and likes to corral her family in a distinct area!

The maps are part of the John Rylands University Digital Library and date from 1794 through to 1956. They comprise private surveys, the familiar Ordnance Survey maps and maps showing the Manchester shipping canal and docks.

Maps can be zoomed into allowing details such as house outlines, building names and internal layout of public building to become clear. The maps can be searched by place-names.

This collection will be of great value to family and local historians and will work well alongside the census. Lucky genealogists with Manchester ancestors.

Also available online are Commercial Street Directory maps dating from the 1750’s and the Manchester Blitz maps.

The maps are

William Green’s map of Manchester & Salford 1794
Joseph Adshead maps of Manchester 1851
Ordnance Survey 60 inches to 1 mile Manchester & Salford 1850
Ordnance Survey 6 inches to 1 mile Manchester 1848
Ordnance Survey 25 inches to 1 mile selection of Lancashire sheets 1888 – 1933
Ordnance Survey National Grid series  1948 – 1955
Ship Canal
Commercial Street Directory Maps 1750’s to 20th c.
WW2 Aerial Bomb Maps


Westminster Community History

Westminster ArchivesThe Westminster Archives website has a niche for Community History. The webpage says that it offers a chance to Explore the history of Westminster’s communities through our projects and exhibitions. So as I’ve never been one not to follow a path that offers information on family or community history I clicked on the button and it took me to another page which offered a choice of

  • Westminster MemoriesExplore Westminster’s history through our network of interactive sites
  • Soho Memories – Discover Soho past and present, and share your own memories of this colourful district
  • Church Street MemoriesTake a trip down memory lane with our site dedicated to Church Street’s history
  • St John’s Wood MemoriesExperience St John’s Wood as it used to be through images, stories and first-hand accounts
  • West End at WarWestminster City Archives tells the story of the London Blitz through an exciting new website, reminiscence sessions and an animation project
  • Black & Asian HistorySources for Black and Asian history in Westminster, including online exhibition galleries

Clicking on the Soho Memories I found a Soho memoriespage offering links to the Italian Community in Soho, Changing Face of Soho and memories about Eric Singer Boulevardier, journalist, architect, Martin Green Writer & publisher and Eddie S Linden Poet and publisher of Aquarius poetry magazine and several others.

It seems that anyone who has memories or photos of Soho can register and add their memories etc. to the site. Having read a few of the memories and had a look at the page about the Italian influence in Soho I have bookmark the site and will come back regularly to see what other goodies have been added.

A great idea by Westminster Archives to allow the community to record it’s own history. I shall have to work on a piece about my ancestors who lived in Soho in the 19th century, who knows what leads might come from that.

Take a look and enjoy a browse through Westminster.


My Homes Past – House History

House History

Came across this new website today, I always think that family history easily partners with house history and this website concerns itself with the latter. The idea is that “My Homes Past” provides a link between photos and memories that we have of the houses we have lived in and the people who now live in those homes. It’s a lovely idea and it will be interesting to see if it catches on. 

To use the website you first need to register (another password to remember!!) and then you can add photographs, memories, real estate flyers and purchase and sale details. Once that is done I assume you sit back and see if anyone is also interested in that property.

At the time of writing the properties with details loaded onto the site are mainly in the Essex area and I suspect that they are those that the creators of the website have lived in.  I noted some Google ads on the site of the pages and I presume this is how the costs of the website will be covered. Running websites, as I know, isn’t cheap so I’m happy to have the ad’s there to help with the expenses.

This is a nice idea and if the take-up is sufficient then it will be a useful addition to family history.

Sun Fire Office documents

Sun Fire OfficeThese documents can offer a peek into our ancestors lives and are a wonderful addition to your genealogy if one of your family names features in the database.

There would be an outcry these days if a house was on fire and the fire brigade simply watched it burn down because the owners hadn’t contributed to the fire station funds!! But that was exactly what happened in the 18th & 19th century. A number of insurance companies owned teams of fire fighters dotted around the country mainly in the larger towns and cities, these fire fighters with their hand pump engines would race to see if the burning building displayed one of their plaques, if they did then they fought the fire, if it didn’t then they simply watched. Simple really Winking smile

The National Archives A2A website has a list of those living in London who insured with The Sun Fire Office I am not convinced it is a complete list, but there is quite a large number of names and addresses so well worth a look if you have London ancestry. There is a good brief description and history  of the collection at the beginning of the page.

I did a search for the surname Pottinger and found the following ….

MS 11936/557/1256077

16 August 1837

Insured: William Pottinger, 27 Queen Street, Cheapside, tailor and draper
Other property or occupiers: Parish of Great Pornder, Essex (Law and others); Parish of Bloxham, Oxon (baker)

No doubt ordering a copy of the whole document from the London Metropolitan Archives who have the originals would give much more detail. I wonder if this set of documents might find its way onto Ancestry under their agreement with the LMA?