Friday, June 23, 2006

ancestry celebration

three day trial of US 1930 census Digitizes Entire US Federal Census Collection From ... Yahoo! News (press release)
For Your Roots Online Wall Street Journal Digitizes Entire US Federal Census Collection From ... PR Newswire (press release)
all 93 related » boosts database with census
Seattle Post Intelligencer - Jun 21, 2006
... seven years older between the 1850 and the 1860 census. ... of a network of Web sites owned by Inc ... It charges annual fees of $155.40 for US records and ...

Online company boosts geneological database with census records TMCnet
Finding family San Francisco Chronicle
For Your Roots Online Wall Street Journal
Yahoo! News (press release) - all 93 related »

Thursday, June 22, 2006

treasure trove of old church

from Don Cameron via Bristol_and_Somerset list:-

A very pleasing happenstance occurred this week when church authorities of
St Thomas' Port Macquarie, NSW discovered a treasure trove of old church
documents. Amongst the treasures were old parish registers, not previously
known to have existed, and certainly not photographed by the LDS. The
registers date from the convict period and will, when transcribed, greatly
assist a number of researchers with missing convict relatives.

We should all take heart that such occurrences do happen, and we should not
give up on one day finding a way through, over, under or around those
ubiquitous brick walls.

See St Thomas' web site here

the fifth oldest church still in use in Australia

RESTORATION of St. Thomas' Port Macquarie has been ongoing almost since it was first in use. This is because the convicts who built it were not artisans but labourers - and their supervisors were soldiers! As early as October 1828, the first vicar (Rev. John Cross) wrote that rain was coming through the roof and the windows. Restoration Appeals to the public were numerous including:

1839: Church partially destroyed by hurricane; restoration through local gifts and labour.

1897: Church so badly damaged by cyclone Bishop offered 100 pounds towards a new church. But Appeal through Herald and Telegraph raised enough to restore the building.

1923: White ants in roof timbers; galvanised roof deteriorated. New roof of terracotta tiles fixed through appeal by A.E. Pountney of Port Macquarie News.

1957: Local appeal raised enough to restore several problem areas.

1968: National appeal launched under patron Governor General Lord Casey, to restore tower walls. This was done by the insertion of steel rods at each corner to prevent bricks from slipping further; while a number of other smaller problems were attended to at the same time.

1986: Windows replaced; white ant damage repaired through appeal headed by His Excellency Sir Roden Cutler, V.C.

1998/9: Local appeal raised over $A85,000, including grants from the Australian Heritage Commission, for repair of white ant damage to box pews, flooring and wainscotting. Box pews restored to earlier configuration under direction of a heritage architect.

2000: Launch of major restoration appeal for repair of crumbling brickwork in tower and north entrance convict brick wall. Millennium year celebrated by laying stone to replace original foundation stone.

2002 - Ongoing Actions: Applications (March & April) to State and Federal Governments for funding amounting to around three quarters of a million dollars, to restore brickwork of outer walls, both tower and nave; also to install a damp-proof course (omitted from original building).

St Thomas’ recently received an anonymous donation of $100,000, bringing the total local donations to around $144,000. A further $242,5000 has also been allocated by the NSW Heritage Office, making a total of $317,500, also $78,000 from the Department of the Environment and Heritage (Federal Government). However, these amounts leave a shortfall of around $100,000. Unless further donations or government Grants are forthcoming, work will have to be suspended indefinitely. This will result in damage to fresh brickwork from rain and storms, probably nullifying all the innovative work which has already been completed.

2003 - 2004: Restoration of brickwork commenced in April 2003 with removal of cement render from the east and north walls. At this stage the damage was found to be much greater than assessed; cost of restoration now estimated at $1.5 million.

Scaffolding was erected around nave and tower and work commenced with the cleaning of bricks. This uncovered bricks so salt- and moisture-laden that most had to be replaced rather than turned. Fortunately, a large stock of convict bricks remained in the property and hundreds more were donated from public authorities and private homes after an appeal through the local Press.

If you would like to help preserve this historic building, please make your cheque or money order payable to:

"National Trust of Australia (NSW)
St. Thomas' Restoration Appeal"

and send to:

St. Thomas' Restoration Appeal
P.O. Box 689,
Port Macquarie,
NSW 2444, Australia

wills and administrations after 1858


The department is still partially in the quill pen period of methods of administration with a six weeks quoted delivery time for copies of wills and with no significant online services for genealogists.

Applications for searches must be made in writing, and give the full name, last known address and date of death of the person concerned.
A search can normally be made using less detail, but if the date of death is not known, you must state the year from which you want the search to be made, or give some other evidence that might indicate when the person died.

Include a cheque for UK £5 payable to "HMCS", and if it is paid from abroad, must be made by International Money Order or bank draft, payable through a United Kingdom bank and made out in £ sterling. If you are applying for a search as well, you can request a search of any length,

If you want the Probate Registry to conduct a search for a period longer than the standard four years, there is an additional fee of £3 for each 4-year period after the first four. Thus, an 8-year search will cost £8, a 12-year search £11, and so on.

send your request to:-

The Postal Searches and Copies Department
The Probate Registry
1st Floor
Castle Chambers
Clifford Street
York YO1 9RG
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (1904) 666777 -- this number carrries a recorded message
Fax: +44 (1904) 666776

The Probate Service is part of Her Majesty's Courts Service and has main offices (Probate Registries) in London, Cardiff, Brighton, Birmingham, Bristol, Ipswich, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Oxford and Winchester. In addition to these, there are smaller offices (sub-Registries) in 18 other locations.

The Probate Service only administers England and Wales there are separate processes for applying for probate in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

But this is only the start. Over the coming months we will be adding information which will be of interest to all but especially to our professional users. We will be able to let you know straight away of anything which will affect the way in which you use our services. In addition, every probate registry will have its own page where such matters as the availability of appointments at probate offices, closing times, new addresses, telephone numbers etc. will be set out.

All this will happen within the next 12 months - meanwhile, please make the fullest use of our present facilities.

Information from Probate records can provide vital pieces of the genealogical puzzle. Although often not as useful as records of births, marriages and deaths, which can evidence crucial links to previous generations, they can provide evidence of relatedness within generations, and often contain fascinating insights into the financial affairs of people in times past. . . in fact at this price much better value than death certificates

HMCS CourtFinder

This information includes a court's address and facilities, opening hours, contact details, how to get there and information relating to court type e.g. Civil, Family.

for example

Birmingham District Probate Registry

The Priory Courts
33 Bull Street
West Midlands
B4 6DU (click for a google map)

DX 701990 Birmingham 7

General Contact Numbers

Switchboard : 0121 681 3400
General Fax : 0121 236 2465
Switchboard : 0121 681 3414

Opening Times

Court building open : 9.30 am
Court building closed : 4.00 pm
Court counter open : 9.30 am
Court counter closed : 4.00 pm

I have just telephoned them and they say one hour service possible by computer from the central registry - I will report back

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

archives to move

from news:soc.genealogy.britain:-

Changes were announced yesterday in the Commons by Hilary Armstrong & the
House of Lords by Baroness Ashton.
In the press release it includes a date to close the FRC at Islington &
relocate it to Kew.

21 June 2006
The National Archives to move its Family Records Centre staff and services to Kew(35.836kb)
21 June 2006
The Office of Public Sector Information and The National Archives are to merge(41.472kb)

From the National Archives website:
"It has been announced today that The National Archives and the Office of
Public Sector Information will merge. " ...

"We would like to emphasise that the merger will have no impact on the
services we provide to our customers and stakeholders - it is very much
business as usual. No jobs are being lost as a result of the merger and we
are confident of being able to continue a very high level of service." ...
"We also intend to reduce the four sites we currently have - Kew, the
Family Records Centre and Office of Public Sector Information offices in
London and Norwich - to just two (Kew and a small London office).

Our Family Records Centre staff and services will be relocating to Kew,
where they will manage a dedicated family history service, by the end of
2008. We are holding a public consultation on this move and our Minister,
Baroness of Ashton of Upholland, plans to invite family historians to a
meeting at Kew in September to discuss this and other developments in
family history service provision. Please see our website for updates."
I'd like to see what form this consultation will take...

safety testing of tomb stones

by email from the Bristol_and_Somerset Mailing List:-

In our area of North Somerset, the council are at the moment visiting all local Church Yards to test the safety of all the Tomb Stones.
They are tested by means of a machine which tests whether they are safe or are likely to topple over. Our local Church, St Peters Portishead has been visited and at the moment about 80% of all the graves have been looked at.

We now have a situation where a lot of graves have there stones supported by a wooden stake with a letter on it.
In this case the owners have 1 month to have them repaired and reset or they will be laid down on the grave itself.

Of a lot of the other graves, the ones which are deemed unsteady, they have already been laid down on the grass or grave. Obviously a lot of these are very old and will never be repaired as the owners or interested members of the family have long gone.

A lot of people are angry about this. There is a huge cost involved for some people but also a lot of the history in the Church Yard is being lost.

They are laying down the stones so that some of the inscriptions can still be read but it won't be long before the council mowers damage the stones or the grass and weeds grow over and they will be lost.

A great shame, anyone who has a family grave here should take a look while the stones are still able to be read.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

History of Parliament Trust wants researchers

History of Parliament
18 Bloomsbury Square
tel 020 7636 9269e

Rate of pay: 12.75pounds per hour for most tasks requiring advanced research skills.

This rate is inclusive of holiday pay.
For some tasks(e.g.,transcription of printed, or easy manuscript sources) a lower rate is paid.
Researchers are paid monthly on the basis of a time-sheet which they fill in, and which is counter-signed by the research supervisor. Payments aremade by bank transfer.

There are currently four Sections at work on the House of Commons, covering the periods 1422-1504, 1604-1629, 1640-1660 and 1820-1832.

In 1998, the Trustees decided to begin a new Section covering the House of Lords 1660 to 1832.

For further details of the progress of these projects, please click on the appropriate period.

The Trustees have agreed in principle both to carry the project forward beyond 1832 and back before 1386.
Since 1995, the History of Parliament has been principally funded by an annual grant-in-aid from the House of Commons. From 1998, the House of Lords has contributed a fifth of this annual amount because of the opening of a Section on the history of the House of Lords. The funding supports 25 research staff and a small team of administrative staff. The project is based at 15 Woburn Square, London, WC1H 0NS, but retains close links with its original host, the Institute for Historical Research.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Data Dae Research

ShoeString Genealogy provides Family Historians with information about how to research their ancestors both in the Internet and in libraries and other repositories. Besides how, it indicates where — locations for information and the relative value of each.

ShoeString Genealogy focuses on lowering the costs of research and raising the quality of information. Although not all resources are free, many are. There are several excellent resources that are quite inexpensive, too.

Dae Powell: Tiny Tafel

GENTREK is a Chatroom Discussion group that meets on AOL every Monday evening from 9pm to 10pm Eastern Standard Time. If you are an AOL member please drop by and visit with our friendly group.

One of the aspects of GENTREK that sets it apart from most chats is a prepared topic of discussion.