Thursday, November 28, 2013

National Archives UK

The National Archives has launched it new-look website after several months of public consultation and design.  Not only is there a new homepage layout but also a 'mega menu' which drops open to display all the main sections of the page for fast, efficient access.  The Archives hope that the new interface will offer a better experience for mobile users, who make up approximately 20% of the sites visitors.  Their many online collections can be browsed in a number of categories, including

  • 20th Century Politics 
  • Air Force 
  • Army 
  • Crime
  • Looted Art
  • Maps
  • Marines
  • Medals
  • Merchant Navy
  • Migration
  • Navy
  • Wills and Probate
The National Archives also boast a series of podcasts in which Researchers and historians from The National Archives and elsewhere offer expert guidance on researching family history and unlocking the multitude of sources available.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Dictionary of the Scots Language

The Dictionary of the Scots Language comprises electronic editions of the two major historical dictionaries of the Scots language: the 12-volume "Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue" and the 10-volume"Scottish National Dictionary". Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue contains information about Scots words in use from the twelfth to the end of the seventeenth centuries (Older Scots); and Scottish National Dictionary contains information about Scots words in use from 1700 to the 1970s (modern Scots). Together these 22 volumes provide a comprehensive history of Scots, and a New Supplement now (2005) brings the record of the language up to date. This comprehensive resource will help you decipher the old terminology on Scottish records and give up-to-date meanings.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Maxwell Ancestry of Scotland

Maxwell Ancestry had added two new collections to their website. The first collection is an index of paternity cases from the south of Scotland that went before the Sheriffs Court. These are typically cases where a woman gave birth to an illegitimate child and then had to pursue the father of the child through the court for maintenance payments. This is a rare collection that can help researchers overcome brick walls. The collection currently spans the years from 1831 to 1892 for the county of Roxburghshire and intermittently from 1830 to 1897 for the county of Dumfriesshire. Eventually, this collection will cover all of southern Scotland.
The second collection from Maxwell Ancestry is parish records not found on the Scotland’s People website. Specifically, these birth, marriage and death records were taken from Kirk Session material from the Church of Scotland and other Presbyterian churches. Maxwell Ancestry now has some 460,000 records across their various online indexes. There is no charge to search. There is a modest charge to order a full transcript.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight Family History Society has been steadily adding to their collection of free genealogy records. So far, there are some 256,000 birth records, 102,000 marriage records and 226,000 death records. The records span the years from 1837 to 2010. There is also a project in place to add all recent deaths since 2010. A typical record on the website will provide the full name, year and place plus additional information. Also included is a very handy link to apply to the island registrar for an official certificate of the record with all the pertinent details automatically completed on the form. Access to the database is free.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Doegen Records Web Project

An archive of spoken Irish has just gone online. Called the Doegen Records Web Project, it consists of sound recordings made from 1928 to 1931. A total of 136 speakers from 17 counties recorded 400 stories, songs, prayers, charms and parables. The archive can be searched by title, speaker, county and keyword. This website won’t help you find a specific ancestor, but it does provide great context. Access is free.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

National Archives First World War

The National Archives has launched its new First World War portal as part of the 100th Anniversary commemorations.  The new portal makes it easy to access all the collections held by the National Archives from one convenient location. The Archives will be marking the centenary of the war with an extensive programme, spanning a five-year period from 2014 – 2019. With a rolling series of digitised record releases, online and on-site events and education resources being added to this portal as we move through the centenary period, the national Archives will open up their unique collection of First World War records as never before.  Some charges may apply to access some records.

Included are record collections of :

  • Medals 
  • RAF officers 
  • Merchant Seamen 
  • Army Nurses 
  • Prisoners of War 
  • Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve 
  • Royal Naval Division
  • Women’s Royal Air Force
  • Women’s Royal Naval Service 
  • Royal Naval Air Service