Friday, 22 August 2014

FreeBMD server upgrade

I've just picked up on a message from FreeBMD (www.freebmd.org.uk), the volunteer project to make freely accessible all indexes to English and Welsh birth, marriage and death indexes from 1837-1983. The site is updating its servers, which may temporarily lead to some performance issues:

You might have noticed that there has been a delay with the most recent update to the FreeBMD database. We are currently planning on moving the site to new servers and we will update the database when that move is completed. We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause but hope that the move to new servers will help us to provide a better service in long run. We anticipate that the move will happen over the next couple of weeks and during that time there might be short periods where the site is unavailable, or certain facilities are unavailable, but we are working to try and keep disruption to a minimum. Thank you, in advance, for your patience whilst we complete this. Progress as of 31st July: We are currently testing how FreeBMD works on our new servers; this is ongoing and we don't have a firm date when it will be completed. Thank you for your continued patience. We will provide further information on progress by the end of August.

Chris

Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, whilst my new book British and Irish Newspapers is also now out. And please consider purchasing the great new version of Caledonia by The Libations at 79p via www.caledonia2014.com - all profits go to help fund Scottish foodbanks

Smithsonian Institute launches Transcription Centre site

This one is interesting, courtesy of the American magazine, Family Tree (not to be confused with the British one of the same name!). It concerns the Smithsonian Institution's new Transcription Centre website at https://transcription.si.edu/ to crowdsource a volunteer effort to make its records even more accessible. The article is available at http://blog.familytreemagazine.com/insider/2014/08/22/SmithsonianLaunchesWebsiteToCrowdsourceOldDocumentTranscriptions.aspx.

Chris

Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, whilst my new book British and Irish Newspapers is also now out. And please consider purchasing the great new version of Caledonia by The Libations at 79p via www.caledonia2014.com - all profits go to help fund Scottish foodbanks

PRONI's First World War conference in Belfast

Details of PRONI's forthcoming First World War conference in Belfast:

CONFERENCE: Researching The First World War: Sources and Resources
When: 5th September 2014, 10am - 4.30pm
Where: PRONI

To mark the launch of PRONI’s Guide to First World War sources (see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/proni-launches-first-world-war-records.html) we will be hosting a conference. This will be aimed at community groups and researchers. It is designed to illustrate the sources in PRONI for First World War research and the other resources available to groups or individuals planning First World War projects.

The Keynote address will be given by Dr Timothy Bowman of University of Kent, on “Ireland In The First World War”. There will also be contributions from Jason Bourke on “East Belfast and the Great War”, and The Museums of the Royal Irish Regiment. Speakers from The Living Legacies 1914-18 Engagement Centre at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland Screen, Community Relations Council and Heritage Lottery Fund will also be attending.

Please email (proni@dcalni.gov.uk) or call (028 90 534800) to reserve your place, admission is FREE.

(With thanks to PRONI)

Chris

Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, whilst my new book British and Irish Newspapers is also now out. And please consider purchasing the great new version of Caledonia by The Libations at 79p via www.caledonia2014.com - all profits go to help fund Scottish foodbanks

WW1 British army officers' records catalogued

The National Archives at Kew has announced that some 140,000 army officers records from post-1913 have now been catalogued, and can be searched by name via Discovery (in category WO 339). cataloguing work took place over three years by The Friends of the National Archives.

The full story is at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/news/958.htm.

Chris

Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, whilst my new book British and Irish Newspapers is also now out. And please consider purchasing the great new version of Caledonia by The Libations at 79p via www.caledonia2014.com - all profits go to help fund Scottish foodbanks

Thursday, 21 August 2014

North of Ireland FHS Open Day

The North of Ireland Family History Society is hosting an Open Day at its Research Centre and Library in Newtownabbey this Saturday 23rd August from 10.30am-4.30pm. The cenre is located at Unit C4, Valley Business Centre, 67 Church Road, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, BT36 7LS.

For more on the society visit www.nifhs.org.

NB: The society will also have a presence at Who Do You Think You Are Live (www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com) in Glasgow on Fri 29th-Sat 30th, at the SECC in Glasgow. It's a big society :)

Chris

Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, whilst my new book British and Irish Newspapers is also now out. And please consider purchasing the great new version of Caledonia by The Libations at 79p via www.caledonia2014.com - all profits go to help fund Scottish foodbanks

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Scottish Genealogy Network members at WDYTYA Live Glasgow

If you are planning on attending Who Do You Think You Are? Live (www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com) in Glasgow, and you work as a professional genealogist within Scotland, please ask anyone wearing these badges at the event about what the Scottish Genealogy Network can offer by way of support and help.


There are no membership fees, we're an informal self-help networking body that meets once a month at a different venue across Scotland to discuss issues of relevance to our industry, to pool ideas for problems which may be encountered in research, and which organises its own programme of CPD events twice a year here in Scotland. And we're a friendly bunch :) For an idea of the sorts of activities we get up to, please visit our dedicated blog site at http://scottishgenealogynetwork.blogspot.co.uk.

If you don't work as a genie, many of our members will be participating in the Society of Genealogists' Ask the Experts area (I'll be doing my own stint there each day from 3-4pm). Book a twenty minute slot to discuss any genealogical issues you wish to work through, and we'll do our best to help!

See you there!

Chris

Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, whilst my new book British and Irish Newspapers is also now out. And please consider purchasing the great new version of Caledonia by The Libations at 79p via www.caledonia2014.com - all profits go to help fund Scottish foodbanks

Monday, 18 August 2014

WDYTYA Live Glasgow announces vendors and exhibitors

Who Do You Think You Are Live has uploaded a list of the vendors who will be attending the show at the end of next week at the SECC in Glasgow. The list is accessible at http://www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com/about-show/our-exhibitors.

Amongst those exhibiting are Ancestry, the National Records of Scotland (with ScotlandsPeople), FamilySearch, the Universities of Strathclyde and Dundee, Deceased Online, and many others, including all the way from Australia, Unlock the Past, to promote both its genealogy books and genealogy cruises (I'll be helping on the stall!). Who Do You Think You Are magazine will also have a special edition to tie in with the event, including an article written by yours truly on how to start off with your research!

There is much more of a Scottish presence this year, with many archives and family history societies, but also some surprise omissions from the main UK vendors - for example, FindmyPast is not attending, nor the British Newspaper Archive, The Genealogist, nor even the National Archives from Kew. However, with a packed talks programme and a chance to talk with folk on many stands not normally exhibiting at the London event, this will be very similar and yet very different experience at the same time - and above all, a fun day out if you want to get stuck into your ancestral research!

Chris

Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, whilst my new book British and Irish Newspapers is also now out. And please consider purchasing the great new version of Caledonia by The Libations at 79p via www.caledonia2014.com - all profits go to help fund Scottish foodbanks

Friday, 15 August 2014

DeceasedOnline adds two Hertfordshire cemeteries records

From Deceased Online (www.deceasedonline.com):

Hertfordshire burial records now 200,000+

Burial records for two more Hertfordshire, England cemeteries are now available on www.deceasedonline.com

The addition of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council's Welwyn Hatfield Lawn and Hatfield Hyde cemeteries means that there are now 10 Herfordshire cemeteries' records exclusively available on Deceased Online.

The Hertfordshire records date back to 1801 and include over 200,000 records for 90,000+ individual names and burials.

The records comprise: Scans of original registers; grave details identifying all those buried in each grave; and cemetery section maps indicating the section location of each grave.

(NB: DeceasedOnline will be at WDYTYA Live in Glasgow)

Chris

Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, whilst my new book British and Irish Newspapers is also now out. And please consider purchasing the great new version of Caledonia by The Libations at 79p via www.caledonia2014.com - all profits go to help fund Scottish foodbanks

Changes to UK copyright law and data-mining permissions

I've just received the following from Tahitia McCabe, who runs the Genealogical Studies Postgraduate Programme at the University of Strathclyde (www.strath.ac.uk/genealogy/), which she has very kindly given me permission to share with British GENES readers. It concerns recent changes in UK copyright law from 1 JUN 2014 which will be of interest to those who may wish to 'data mine' certain websites for genealogical purposes, for non-commercial activities only. Here is Tahitia's summary:

It allows researchers doing non-commercial work to data mine databases they have legal access to without the need to ask for permission and database providers cannot use tools such as imposing download speeds that would prevent researchers from benefiting from this exemption.

Here is the text from the attached guidance from the Intellectual Property Office:

The new copyright exception will allow researchers to make copies of any copyright material for the purpose of computational analysis if they already have the right to read the work (that is, work that they have “lawful access” to). They will be able to do this without having to obtain additional permission from the rights holder. This exception only permits the making of copies for the purpose of text and data mining for non-commercial research. Researchers will still have to buy subscriptions to access material; this could be from many sources including academic publishers.

Publishers and content providers will be able to apply reasonable measures to maintain their network security or stability but these measures should not prevent or unreasonably restrict researcher’s ability to text and data mine. Contract terms that stop researchers making copies to carry out text and data mining will be unenforceable.


Tahitia has also notified me that it is now also possible to legally make backups of digital items such as e-books - additional information is available from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/changes-to-copyright-law and at http://www.cilip.org.uk/cilip/news/breakthrough-copyright-law-reform-confirmed

(With thanks to Tahitia)

NB: If you wish to sign up for the University of Strathclyde's genealogical studies courses, the 3rd week of September is the latest time you will be able to do so. The university will also have a stand at the forthcoming Who Do You Think You Are Live event, where you can find them at tables 64 & 65.

Chris

Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, whilst my new book British and Irish Newspapers is also now out. And please consider purchasing the great new version of Caledonia by The Libations at 79p via www.caledonia2014.com - all profits go to help fund Scottish foodbanks

1861 census book for Milton added to ScotlandsPeople

ScotlandsPeople (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk) has released a further 1861 Census enumeration book, for the Milton district in Glasgow, with 15 pages of entries not previously available. They have also updated the indexes for all census years on the site, correcting many errors to improve searchability.

The site has also added a new PDF download facility to allow for the download of multipage documents (such as testaments) as a single PDF document. To do so, use the 'Download as PDF' button at the top right of the image viewer.

(With thanks to ScotlandsPeople)

Chris

Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, whilst my new book British and Irish Newspapers is also now out. And please consider purchasing the great new version of Caledonia by The Libations at 79p via www.caledonia2014.com - all profits go to help fund Scottish foodbanks