Saturday, May 26, 2007

Society of Genealogists in London England

Society of Genealogists - About the Society:
"Our Library is the foremost in the British Isles with a large collection of family histories, civil registration and census material, and the widest collection of County Sources in the country (over 9,000). They are arranged with local histories, poll books and directories, other topographical material, and the publications of county records and archaeological societies. Sections relate to the professions, schools and universities, the services, religious denominations, the peerage and heraldry, and to British citizens living abroad, in the Commonwealth and USA. Boyd's Marriage Index covers some 2,600 parish registers with nearly seven million names: a general Card Index contains some three million references: there are about 6,000 rolls of microfilm (including Scottish civil registration indexes) and the International Genealogical index on both CD-ROM (FamilySearch with over 200 million names) and fiche."

Society of Genealogists - Calendar of Events in June

Tickets are still available for the June events listed below.

You can find
more information about these by visiting:
where you can also book online through the secure website.
To book by telephone, please contact the Events Co-ordinator at 020 7553
3290 or email:

Lori Weinstein, Events Co-ordinator

Saturday 2 June 10:30am-1pm Scanning Documents and Photos
A half-day course with Jeanne Bunting. (15/12 GBP)


Saturday 2 June 2pm-4:30pm Researching Welsh Ancestry
Covering civil registration, census, parish registers, Nonconformity, tithe
maps, wills, patronymic naming, records of the Great Sessions and published
A half-day course with Mari Alderman and Norma Ashworth. (15/12 GBP)


Wednesday 6 June 2pm-3pm Medal Detecting: Your Ancestors Military Medals.
Includes a brief history of medals since 1793, places to research medal rolls,
identifying medals and ribbons and other prime and secondary sources for
researching medals. Ken will discuss some of the different medals for the
three services, websites for medals and medal tracker for trying to locate
an ancestors medal(s). A lecture by Ken Divall. (5/4 GBP)


Saturday 9 June 10:30am-5pm Researching London Ancestors
Includes an introduction to London research inc. addressing special problems,
finding and using parish registers, a look at life for the London poor in
the 18-19th centuries, and locating burial records within London cemeteries.
A full-day course with Michael Gandy, Geoff Swinfield, Helen Osborn and
John Hanson. (25/20 GBP) Spaces Limited


Monday 11 June 1:30pm-4pm Using Pay-per-View Websites
A half-day workshop. (15/12 GBP)


Wednesday 13 June 2pm-3pm Have you and Skeletons in the Family Cupboard
Based on the lecturer's own experiences in researching his family. Includes
skeletons, murder, illegitimacy, bigamy and deaths under unusual
A lecture by Richard Ratcliffe. (5/4 GBP)


Thursday 14 June 2pm-3pm Sun Insurance Records. A Place in the Sun Project
Using fire insurance records as a source of information on London
householders in the early 19th century. It is primarily for family
historians with Tudor ancestors, but also relevant to those with an
interest in the social or business history of this period.
A lecture with Brenda Griffith-Williams. (5/4 GBP)


Wednesday 20 June 2pm-3pm Surnames in Genealogy
Reviews recent development in surname studies, including online databases
and DNA projects.
A lecture with Chris Pomeroy. (5/4 GBP)


Saturday 23 June 10:30am-5pm Introduction to Genealogy Software
An overview of the leading software packages on the market today. This is
suitable for those purchasing their first genealogy program or those
thinking about switching to another software package.
A full-day course with Alec Tritton and John Hanson. (25/20 GBP)


Monday 25 June 2pm-4pm Scared of the Mouse
Mastering the Computer, a beginner's tutorial by Neville Taylor. (10/8 GBP)
See 26 March for more information.


Wednesday 27 June 2pm-3pm Heraldry for Beginners
A lecture with Geoff Swinfield. (5/4 GBP)


Thursday 28 June 2pm-3pm Overlooked Resources. Church Warden and Vestry
Church warden records often commence before parish registers in the 16th
century and contain vital information about local people, their occupations
and social status. The 19th century vestry records are a mine of social and
local history. This illustrated talk will include case studies.
A lecture with Liz Carter. (5/4 GBP)


Saturday 30 June 10:30am-5pm Preserving and Conserving Documents for Family
This popular course covers conserving family history documents on paper
followed by the history of photography and current
preservation/conservation techniques. The photography presentation is
accompanied by an exhibition of a variety of photographic processes and
examples of preserved/conserved material.
A full-day course with Liz Yamada of the London Metropolitan Archives
(25/20 GBP)


Flickr: Photos from hugh1936uk just passed 4000 snapshots uploaded - see links in the side bar too - my daily day

Friday, May 25, 2007 "city of london burials 1788-1855"

The new City of London Burials records 1788-1855 are invaluable for finding deaths in the crowded square mile before civil registration began. Many of the burials detailed are from Anglican parishes but a number represent a different section of society, known as Nonconformists.

Nonconformists were, in the broadest sense, Protestants who practiced their religion outside the Church of England, such as Quakers, Baptists, Unitarians and Presbyterians. Nonconformity, or Dissent, was linked to the championing of freedom and liberty. Those who refused to obey the regulations of the established church were excluded from public office, until 1828.

As well as being excluded from holding office, Nonconformists were forbidden burial in consecrated ground. As such, alternative cemeteries were utilized for Dissenters, such as Bunhill Fields and Tower Hamlets Burial Ground. Bunhill Fields had especially strong links to Nonconformists. William Blake is buried there:

as well as two other famous British Dissenters: John Bunyan and Daniel Defoe.

By 1851’s census Nonconformist numbers were almost on a par with those belonging to the Anglican Communion.

If your relatives were Nonconformists, or you simply want to find out more, you may wish to contact the Quaker’s Library, Doctor Williams’ Library or the Society of Genealogists.


WorldVitalRecords Blog is the vehicle for tjhier press releases

"The first set of databases from Quintin Publications’ Library is now online at The databases are available since Quintin Publications announced its partnership with last week at the NGS Conference in Richmond, Virginia. The databases are all free to access for ten days. Click on the links to access the databases.:"

from the press conference at the National Genealogical Society (NGS) :-

The announcement included a three-way agreement between, The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, and FamilySearch™.

As part of this agreement, more than 25 million records of individuals who immigrated from the Port of New York to Ellis Island between 1892-1924 will be available online, free of charge, at

Quintin Publications will provide with more than 10,000 books and articles, which will go through an OCR (optical character reading ) and indexing process, and made available to members at


Provo, UT, May 16, 2007 — More than 4,500 FamilySearch Family History Centers throughout the world will now have free access to’s genealogical records and resources, as a result of an agreement signed between FamilySearch ™ and

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Provo Labs Re“Vital”izes - "Provo, UT, June 08, 2006 --(

Provo Labs announced today its plans to become the number two player in the genealogy industry.

“Of course I recognize that this is no small task, but building this Web site is something that I feel compelled to do. Our goal is to develop a subscription service that is affordable and fits the needs, that are currently not being met, of our genealogists,” said Paul Allen, CEO Provo Labs.

Provo Labs will revitalize an existing site,, and build it to be a vast library of genealogical resources, including international genealogy databases, references to top genealogical resources, a blog planet, podcasts, videocasts, Webinars, expert advice, training, and user-generated content.

“People shouldn’t have to spend their life savings to find their ancestors. We’re making it easy and affordable for our users to access our content,” said Whitney Ransom, Corporate Communications Director."

my thanks to The Genealogue

Ancestry news - WWII United News Newsreels, 1942-1946:

"The U.S. Office of War Information (OWI) was created during World War II (WWII). Part of its role was to oversee U.S. propaganda and promote patriotism. As part of this role, the OWI produced 267 newsreels called the 'United News.’ These newsreels were shown throughout the U.S., but were targeted to overseas viewers. The reels were released in several languages, including German. However, they were primarily distributed to allied and neutral countries.

Newsreels averaged 10 minutes in length and consisted of U.S. military footage depicting allied military operations and other events from the home front. Much of the footage was taken by military combat photographers and is in excellent condition.

This database contains all 267 issues of the 'United News"

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

digital books in Copenhagen

Nyt fælles IT-bibliotek: "Københavns Universitetsbibliotek, IT-Universitetet og Datalogisk Institut (KU) har indgået en fem-årig aftale om biblioteksdrift. Samarbejdet er et resultat af strategien om at samle viden for at kunne sprede den til så mange som muligt. De tre institutioner vil koordinere adgangen til porteføljen af e-ressourcer. Der stiles endvidere efter at udvikle en samling bestående af 12.000 fysiske bind.
Samarbejdet indledes til efteråret. Med IT-universitetets placering som nabo til KU Amager vil IT-biblioteket blive drevet som filial af KUB Syd under førstebibliotekar Hans Kristian Mikkelsens ledelse. Der vil være biblioteksbetjening i tidsrummet 9 – 17 mandag – fredag. I 2006 var der indskrevet 1.500 studerende på IT-Universitetet. I bibliotekets læsesal er der 100 enkelt studiepladser og der indrettes en minilounge som mødested for grupper.

Vicedirektør Michael Cotta-Schønberg
Københavns Universitetsbibliotek"

Danamrk Trap

Trap-Danmark - this is the leading reference work for
 place names and parochial history - THE county history of Denmark
volumes one and two were online but seem to have been taken down
Google Search: Trap-Danmark

Historiearkæologi-portalen vil som forsøg digitalisere Trap-Danmark 1956 udgaven.
I første omgang vil det komme til at dreje sig om bindene
V.1 - Odense Amt
og V.2 - Svendborg Amt

the first edition is also now being digitised
I telephoned Det Kongelige Bibliotek which is doing it but got no clear answer yet.

Historikerportalen -: "På forsøgsbasis er der til Historiker portalen digitaliseret to bind af J. P. Trap, Danmark, 5. udgave fra 1957. Det er bindene om Odense Amt og Svendborg Amt, der til sammen dækker hele Fyn. I Historiker portalen er det muligt at foretage en fuldtekstsøgning i begge bind. Fremvisningen af Trap sker som en digital fremvisning af hver side i bogudgaven, det er derfor muligt at bladre frem og tilbage i de digitale bøger. Som hjælpemiddel er der adgang til en oversigt over:"

trap danmark - Google Search

Kirker i Danmark - en billeddatabase: "Der er 2652 kirker i databasen fordelt på 2349 sogne, 168 herreder og 26 amter, billederne er taget af 215 fotografer.
Der er 9779 links i databasen til yderligere info om kirken og sognet. Prøv at klik på et kirkenavn!
Klik på billedet for at se stor udgave - Klik på sogn, herred eller amt over billedet for at se andre billeder derfra
Klik på kirkens navn for at komme til side med link til yderligere info om kirken og sognet."

Country Survey: Denmark

Denmark has had the present external boundaries since 1920. Going back in history Denmark was much larger than today. Denmark consisted of Norway, Scleswig-Holstein, southern part of Sweden and present day Denmark. In 1658 we lost the Southern part of Sweden (Skaane, Halland, Blekinge) which had been Danish until then. In 1814 we lost Norway to Sweden. In 1864 we lost Schleswig -Holstein and the southern part of Jutland to Germany. In 1920 we were reunited with the southern part of Jutland and the borders have not changed since then.

The internal boundaries - that is the internal borders in the geographical area as they are today - have remained rather stable. The units did not change much over time even if the borders changed.

Most of the units that we use today can be found in sources from app. 1000.

It is assumed that the oldest and smallest unit - the parish ('sogn') - was used even before Denmark became Christianised. A parish is defined as an area where all visit and pay to the same church. From the Middle Ages until the Reformation in 1536 did the parish boundaries not change. After the Reformation some of the smallest parishes were abolished and united with into bigger parishes. Due to the wars in the 17th century many churches were plundered and never rebuilt with the result that the parish to that church was abolished. But since 1660 has the parish boundaries remained stable to a very large degree. In the towns some new parishes has been introduced due to the growing number of people in this century.

The district ('herred') is an old unit but its origin is not clear. Possibly it’s a unit that was large enough to equip a certain amount of soldiers and horses. The district normally comprise 5-15 parishes and the districts were most often defined by natural boundaries such as rivers, hills etc. After the reformation in 1536 Denmark was divided into deaneries which were identical with the districts. Over time some differences arose between the two units when used for temporal or clerical purposes. The clerical purpose became the predominant use. The identical area of deaneries and districts was abolished in 1806 when the deaneries and the counties became identical. The districts have been used as the basis for many administrative purposes as e.g. a base unit in the censuses. The use of the districts as they were in 1688 and 1844 is used in the contemporary source entry project for census records.

in saxon England this is the hundred see also:-

Hundred (country subdivision) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A wapentake is a term derived from the Old Norse vápnatak [2], ... In Yorkshire, a Norse wapentake usually replaced several Anglo-Saxon hundreds.

The county ('amt') is a unit based on the older unit fief.


The counties were introduced by law in 1662 and have been changed in 1793 because the counties were very unequal in size and population. The reform of the counties in 1793 has remained rather stable until 1970.

Some changes have been made between 1793 and 1970 but care has been taken not to divide a district between two counties. In 1920 when the southern part of Jutland were reunited with Denmark 4 new counties were added. The counties were named after the biggest town in the county.

In 1970 smaller counties were merged and in 2007 the counties were abolished and replaced by five districts for thepurpose of taxation and funding hospitals in particular.

Any history of danish geography and census should look at the conscription rolls and taxation systems too.


Country Surveys

These reports are sets of answers to a standard questionnaire.

index: "The workshop was held at the European University Institute, Florence, Italy, June 2nd to 4th, 2000. Funded by the European Science Foundation under their Exploratory Workshops in the Humanities Programme, the meeting was for a limited number of participants, but we are reporting back to a meeting at the International Congress of Historical Sciences in Oslo, from 14:00 to 17:00 on Thursday 10 August.2000"

names from Clwyd Wales UK

"These pages of names have been created as an index to the various sources from which, over many years, I have collected surnames, unusual first names and the variations in their spelling. However, they are mainly from the printed Parish Registers of Clwyd, transcribed by volunteer members of Clwyd Family History Society.

To begin with I used Registers containing the baptismal year of 1812, which is the date to which the registers were first transcribed, and reached my target to include the indexes of all of these in the master index from which I am gradually uploading the information. Subsequent to this and as a result of my continuing fascination with names and their different spellings, many registers have been added with dates before, and now some transcribed beyond, 1812. Eventually I hope to cover all the printed registers containing baptisms, but it is not the intention to include patronymic indexes from the parish registers in these pages.

Experts may not always agree with the 'umbrella' name under which I have placed some of the first names/surnames but I take the
view that this is just an index and it is more important to be able to find the parish register reference number(s) for the name you are interested in.

In connection with frequently occurring surnames such as Jones, Edwards etc., references for these may not be included in full as the names appear in almost every register (+++ will indicate this) but examples giving the variations in spelling of the name will be shown.

References are cross-indexed where necessary and here and there, for added interest, you may find place names, the meaning of a name or information from a Commercial Directory.
A pre-symbol, eg *267 as opposed to 267, indicates that the reference is a first name, and the additional letters A+B+C etc. will refer to separate indexes within a register and occasionally a notitae list.

The intention is to begin inputting names in alphabetical order, but any request received for a particular surname will be dealt with
at the time of receipt.

I have also indexed, for my own use, a National Commercial Directory for South Wales (1835), as well as several of the English County ones (1828-1835), so it might be worth asking for any uncommon name as I may already have found it somewhere."

KEY PAGE with a list of sources

Clwyd Family History Society
The Society was founded in 1980, and now has more than 1300 members worldwide.

The Society is a member of the
Federation of Family History Societies - Google Search

The Society is a member of the
Association of Family History Societies of Wales - Google Search

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

cemeteries as gardens

Reconsidering cemeteries as public gardens | ScrippsNews: "A movement is afoot to go beyond one day a year of decoration. As cities become more crowded, urban graveyards across America are reevaluated. Their potential as public gardens capable of inviting life to come and dwell amidst the slabs, fences and monuments cannot be denied. They are also vital sources of local history, many of which are disintegrating beyond recognition.

Why not return to the idea of decorating graves all year round with living plants? Those who long to cultivate floral beauty but lack their own space or funds may find these public places an ideal opportunity to gather, plant and socialize in the process. Certainly those Southern ladies decorating fresh Civil War graves found some mutual solace followed by fried chicken and sweet iced tea.

In many of these sites, some dating to the dawn of the 19th century, there still exist some of our most outstanding local monuments and plants. They mark the history of the famous and the infamous, heroes and villains, and the soldiers of a dozen wars who lie side by side, all but forgotten.

There are a lot of folks worried about that they call 'Endangered Cemeteries.' Many are being taken over by forest or urbanization. The gravestone markers are wearing down so their chiseled faces no longer record names and dates. For history and genealogy buffs -- or anyone going back to the old hometown to look up the resting places of ancestors -- this loss can be devastating. Many believe it is a tragic loss of American history."

And in UK, or worse in Denmark after 30 years memorials are removed unless fees are paid or the persons are famous.

U.K. & Ireland

Cyndi's List - U.K. & Ireland - General U.K. Sites

news:soc.genealogy.britain has lately been swimming in off topic posts and silly discussions about "personalities" so I am resting from it for a month
GENBRIT liat which is gatewayed with the newsgroup for the discussion of genealogy in Great Britain and the islands. To subscribe send "subscribe" to (mail mode), (digest mode), or (index mode).

still the best place to start general enquiries about genealogy nd family history in England, Scotland or Ireland.
For the next month or so I will be writing a film script - my first - and participating in Script Frenzy | Your ticket to creative adventure

Sunday, May 20, 2007

abbreviations for missing names

RootsWeb Review: RootsWeb's Weekly E-zine 21 June 2006,
RootsWeb Review: RootsWeb's Weekly E-zine
21 June 2006, Vol. 9, No. 25

"(c) 1998-2006, Inc."

What can you do to make your files clear as to the abbreviation or
acronyms you use to indicate any unknown given names, maiden names, or
surnames? There are no perfect solutions or worldwide standards. Some
compilers, especially those who use genealogy software, put a question
mark to indicate that a name is not known, but this is not recommended
as some creative family historians use one question mark, while others
use two or three, and a ? for a name might mean one thing to you and
something else to another researcher

A recent unscientific search at WorldConnect
revealed the following are being used as names in family trees:

Unknown -- 4,503,884
LNU/Lnu -- 34,309
UNK/Unk -- 64,406
FNU -- 274
MNU/Mnu -- 6,942
?? -- 112,740
??? -- 190,233
___ (underscores of variable lengths) -- 7,450
- (one hyphen) -- 8.839
MRS/Mrs (as a given name or part of) -- 862,644
(our poor lost ladies with no names of their own)
[--?--] (the correct way to indicate an unknown name since genealogy
software will not render em dashes) -- 56,483

Obviously there is no standard for indicating that a name is not known
-- hence the confusion. The search even turned up an ancestor by
the name of Unk FNU -- with FNU probably used as an acronym for Family
Name Unknown. Not surprisingly there was no birth date or place for her
and one wonders why such information is even included.

Unknown maiden names should be indicated by using square brackets with a
single em dash (or two hyphens, if the software, typesetting or word-
processing programs will not accept or use em dashes), or use a question
mark amid the em dashes -- e.g. Catherine [--] or Catherine [--?--].

The same format can be used when the given name is unknown or in doubt.
The latter happens sometimes when you learn your female ancestor married
someone whose surname is known, but not his given name. Such references
can be recorded as [--?--] Smith. Some of the popular genealogy soft-
ware has to be forced to use this format.

In formal genealogical writing, the English tradition of putting a
woman's maiden name in parentheses -- Elizabeth (Smith) Jones -- is
commonly used by many genealogists. Therefore nicknames should not be
put in parentheses, but rather enclosed in quotation marks. Example:
Catherine "Cathy" [--?--] Jones. Again, your genealogy software program
may or may not handle nicknames in this format or might require some
tweaking. For those female ancestors with middle names that might be (or
mistaken for) surnames, such as Mary Morgan Kirby, it is important to
indicate that Kirby is her maiden name. If her nickname was Polly, and
she married a Smith her name should be recorded so that in a family
history publication it appears as: Mary "Polly" Morgan (Kirby) Smith.

Remember you do not have to fill in every field in your genealogy
software. If you do not know the given or maiden name of a woman,
either leave the field blank or use [--?--]. Her given name is never
MRS. and certainly not Mrs. King Henry VIII of England.

Using acronyms or various symbols when names are unknown is not a good
idea because you want to make it clear that the name is unknown (not
that you overlooked it or neglected to enter it in the software). You do
not want to muddy the waters and send others and generations of future
researchers on an endless and futile search for the wild LNU.

Don't put your cousins in the position of having to ask "Which Mrs.
Thomas Smith is she?" Or "What's MNU? and who is Unk FNU?

Personally I use - for a missing last name and - -- for both names missing
and more from the thread in news:soc.genealogy.methods:-
[--?--] is the standard way of displaying unknown surnames in the
_National Genealogical Society Quarterly_, currently edited by
Thomas W. Jones and Melinde Lutz Sanborn. It is also used in some
publications of the Board for Certification of Genealogists --
primarily those publications which illustrate NGSQ's unusual way of
numbering individuals as well as displaying unknowns. At least the
numbering system is rooted in methods that came to prominence at the
same time as the Register style that we are all familiar with.

Joan pays the humble, Register-style underscore and em dash a
backhanded compliment by hailing [--?--] as a standard practice.
There is no better known (or ironic) instance of the way in which
non- standard symbols confuse and mislead, no matter how
authoritative their proponents might be.

Austin W. Spencer

type setting and print and computing are poles apart so I will stay with my hyphens

World Vital Records

World Vital Records: "Find your ancestors in our growing collection of birth, death, military, census and parish records. We currently have over 500 databases online and will be adding over 10,000 new databases in the next few months! We want to help you easily discover your family history."

from my email:-

Dear Blogger,

We wanted to let you know that will be making three partnership announcements tomorrow (May 16, 2007) at 11 a.m at the NGS Conference! The announcement will be made in the VIP Suite (room B20) in the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Click here to view a map to the VIP Suite. We would appreciate your help if you would spread the word when you are blogging. The partnership will be with FamilySearch, The Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Foundation, and Quintin Publications.


Whitney Ransom
Director, Corporate Communications
World Vital Records

but still no sign of a press release

WorldVitalRecords - Google Search