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Genealogy New Record Releases for week ending 6 October 2017

Genealogy New Record Releases for week ending 6 October 2017

Contains affiliate links – see my disclosure for further details

We are in the Halloween month, the shops are full of costumes, treat bags and the like. Did our ancestors set much store by Halloween I wonder? I think they would be surprised at the commercialisation of the event. What do you think? Have you come across any references to Halloween in your ancestor hunt? Leave a comment at the end of this post if you have.

Week 30 September – 6 October 2017


Let’s see what Ancestry has presented to us this week……

Actually there have been no updates or new record releases from Ancestry this week – that’s unusual…… wonder if they are preparing some big ?!!


Fresh from their release of Warwickshire parish register release last week FindMyPast has added another Warwickshire database. Plus some good indexes and transcripts.

Warwickshire Bastardy Indexes 1844 – 1914

Five thousand plus records make up this index. Having an illegitimate child generated quite large amount of paperwork as the authorities worked out who was going to pay for the upkeep of mother and child. You get applications, registers, returns, witness statements and appeals. I was searching Dorset Bastardy papers for a client a few years ago and found his ancestor was involved in a case where the mother was unsure who the father might be. The tribunal had both candidates brought before the court and both admitted it could be them. No DNA is those days of course so in a judgement that seemed very fair to me they made both men liable for half the cost of bringing the child up until he was of age. My client was delighted to have such a super story to put in his family history.

This index generally contains the mother’s name and suggested father’s name, but not the child’s name which seems a little odd, but in some cases the child would have been as yet unborn. A very useful index to a fascinating set of documents each with a reference number so that you can order a copy of the document from the Warwickshire County Record Office.

Berkshire Baptism Index 1538 – 1917

210,000 baptisms from 80 parishes makes this a worthwhile index. However be aware that not all parishes are covered and the time frame will vary from parish to parish, just underneath the search page for this index is a list of the Berkshire parishes and time frames covered that are included in the index. The index has been created partly by the Berkshire Family History Society and partly by FindMyPast. Hopefully it will be updated in the future so that all parishes are included. Images of the actual registers would be nice as well if anyone from the record office or FindMyPast reads this!

Berkshire Marriage Index 1538 – 1933

Another 67,000 records have been added to the Berkshire Marriage Index that has been available on FindMyPast for a while. This brings the tally up to 156 parishes and 315,000 records in total. Some scans of Phillimore Marriage Registers are also included in this collection as well as the Berkshire Family History Society material.

Berkshire Burial Index 1536 – 1966

Again this is a joint venture with Berkshire Family History Society. These are good indexes to use as a finding aid, always try and view the original record if you can. I appreciate that for many people this isn’t possible if the originals aren’t on the internet. Personally, and I know some genealogist won’t agree, I feel if you can’t get to see the original then use the indexes and transcripts you can access, but always source where the information came from. That way if you get to see the originals later you can check you have the correct information and all the data and then you can change your source to reflect that. I feel as long as you carefully source where your information came from then it is perfectly acceptable to use indexes and transcripts in your family history. After all genealogy is a hobby and we are supposed to enjoy it not get bogged down with people being pedantic and whether we have seen the originals or not!!

Thames & Medway Baptisms and Marriages  1721 – 1984

These are transcripts of the original records  and cover parishes in Greenwich, Strood, Cuxton, Bermondsey and Rotherhithe so these are all very close to London. FindMyPast has a Thames & Medway Collection and these are additions to that collection.

Thames & Medway Burials 1702 – 1997

These transcripts cover the parishes of St Alphege, Greenwich, St Nicholas, Strood and St Michael & All Angels, Cuxton. also include the Woolwich prison ships and also over a thousand seaman who died onboard the Seaman’s Hospital Society’s hospital ships near Greenwich. I had never heard of these hospital ships so did a quick Google search and found this website Seafarers Hospital Society. Makes fascinating reading and there is a book for those who want to learn more Disease in the Merchant Navy: A history of the Seamen’s Hospital Society” by Prof. Gordon Cook. 

Ontario, Canada Birth Index 1860 – 1920

If you have any ancestors who emigrated this might just be the index for you. Apparently civil registration of births, marriages and deaths are the responsibility of the province and territories in which the event happened and dates from about the late 1880’s. So no national index for Canada.

Don’t forget that you can try FindMyPast FREE for 14 days – CLICK HERE for this free offer.


Nothing new from FamilySearch this week.

British Newspaper Archives

British Newspaper Archives have the following new additions and updates.

Birmingham Daily Post

Dublin Evening Mail

Hants & Berks Gazette

Middlesex and Surrey Journal

The Stage

Darlington & Stockton Times

Ripon & Richmond Chronicle

Loughborough Monitor

British Newspaper Archives have a special offer for MadAboutGenealogy Readers – They are offering free page views from London and Yorkshire newspapers. Plus they are offering a discount for a short time only of 31% on their 3 month subscription. Here is how you get this special offer …..

Free 3 London newspaper page views CLICK HERE

Free 3 Yorkshire newspaper page views CLICK HERE

31% Discount on a 3 month subscription CLICK HERE

The Genealogist

The Genealogist  has added …


Somerset Baptism Records 1538 – 1996

These look to be transcripts of the originals created by the Somerset & Dorset Family History Society.

Somerset & Dorset Burial & Crematorium Records 1563 – 2003

Again transcripts of original records created by the Somerset & Dorset Family History Society


Forces War Records

Nothing new from Forces War Records.

What are you going to do this weekend? I shall have a good look at the Berkshire Indexes from FindMyPast, then go over to the British Newspaper Archives and search the Hants & Berks Gazette for my Hampshire & Berkshire families and then take a look at the Loughborough Monitor for my Leicestershire families. That should keep me busy!!

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