Monday, 26 November 2012

Find My Past Historic Newspapers

Anybody who has studied old newspapers as part of their family history research will know how useful they can be. There are already a few websites offering historical newspaper transcriptions and digitised images, but fans of Find My Past will be pleased to know that a newspaper section has just been added to the site.

There are millions of pages of historical newspapers to view, dating from 1710 to 1950 and covering Scotland, England, and Wales. Each record costs five pay as you go credits to view, but subscribers to the Britain Full package will have unlimited access.

The project has been launched in conjunction with the British Library, and Find My Past have promised that new records will become available regularly.

Old newspapers are not only an extremely interesting insight into the past, but they can also provide information about your family history that you won't find anywhere else. 

Good luck with your research!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Interesting Names

This is not strictly speaking a genealogy story, but is interesting nonetheless. The BBC News website has an article about how some people in Britain have struggled with having unusual names. The names, such as Formaggia, Bandoodas, and Akinyemi, are described as "foreign-sounding." In other words, they are only unusual in Britain because they are not native to the country.

From a genealogical perspective the article is interesting for two reasons:

  • Firstly, some of the people in the article share personal stories of their relatives and how they migrated to Britain. 
  • Secondly, there are instances of names being changed over the years. As every genealogist knows, this can be extremely frustrating and troublesome when conducting research.
The article is worth a look, and can be found on the BBC News website.

Genes Reunited Price Changes

The website Genes Reunited have announced that they have made some changes to their pricing structure, effective immediately.

  • Viewing an original 1911 census image now costs 5 credits, or 50p, instead  of 30 credits, or £3.
  • Viewing a 1911 census transcription now costs 5 credits instead of 10.
This appears to be a permanent change rather than a promotional offer, and is very welcome. The more sites that offer important records at reduced rates the better. 

Friday, 16 November 2012

Who Do You Think You Are?

I, like many of my fellow genealogists, have enjoyed the latest series of Who Do You Think You Are? However, it has been disappointing that the series finished abruptly on Wednesday 17th October with one episode still to go. I have to admit that I'm not a huge fan of John Bishop, the subject of the missing episode, but I'd be entertained by his family history adventure just as I am with every edition of WDYTYA?

The BBC have not to my knowledge explained why they haven't shown episode 10 (John Bishop). They have now stated, however, that it will finally be shown on Thursday 6th December.

Better late then never I suppose. 

Monday, 12 November 2012

Scottish DNA

A new research study is being launched by ScotlandsDNA into the three different types of gene for red hair, with the specific purpose of discovering why Scotland has such an abundance of red headed people. Around 13% of people in Scotland have red hair, compared to a global figure of 1-2%. The researchers believe, however, that in Scotland alone there could be over one-and-a-half million. It is interesting to note that red hair can skip generations in the same family. 

The aim of the research project is to accurately map the number of Scottish carriers of one of the three types of genes that can lead to red hair. The researchers are hoping to be able to establish a theory for Scotland being the most red-headed nation in the world.

The amount of emigration from Scotland throughout the centuries has clearly contributed to the global total of red headed people. It would be extremely interesting to expand the study to include genealogical data, although this is obviously outwith the scope currently. 

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Free Military Records On

This is just a quick reminder that Ancestry UK is currently offering free access to their First World War service, pension, and medal records. The promotion runs from the 9th to the 12th November 2012 to commemorate Remembrance Sunday on the 11th. 

This is a great opportunity to learn more about our ancestors while taking the time to pay our respects to all of the brave soldiers who have fallen in combat. 

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

More Wills Added to ScotlandsPeople Site

ScotlandsPeople have just added almost 400,000 more wills and testaments to their records. The new documents relate to the period from 1902 to 1925. This means that they now have over one million wills and testaments in total, some dating as far back as 1513.

Scottish wills and testaments can provide some invaluable information when tracing ancestors, and they can also be extremely interesting. ScotlandsPeople currently have some excerpts from the wills of famous Scots to view free of charge, Andrew Carnegie and Sir John Murray being the two prime examples.

The entire wills and testaments index is free to search, but there is a charge of 10 credits, which equates to £2.33, to view a document. With the amount of information contained in many of the documents this can often be well worth the money.