Thursday, June 30, 2016

Lives at Sea - Royal Navy Records

Thousands of Royal Navy service records from the First World War has been launched online.  Unveiled on Wednesday 15 June, the First World War: Lives at Sea website provides details of more than 3,500 naval officers and ratings who served during the conflict.  Fully searchable, the material represents just a small portion of the total service records from the First World War period which are gradually being transcribed and uploaded to the database.

A lack of Royal Navy crew lists after the late 19th century means it has previously been difficult for researchers to determine who was on which ship at the same time.  However, the presence of transcribed records within the database means users will quickly be able to see connections between records and view ‘virtual crew lists’ for different battles and campaigns.  The transcription will also enable users to find Royal Navy personnel by details that have previously not been made searchable, including occupation, next of kin and medals.
The website is the result of a joint partnership between The National Archives, the National Maritime Museum and the Crew Lists Index Project. All three partners previously collaborated to create a similar resource last year, providing free access to Merchant Navy records from 1915.
The project team aims to have uploaded the full collection of transcribed Royal Navy service records to the database by November 2018, in time for the end of the First World War Centenary.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


SODA stands for Stream of Digital Archives and it was created by the National Archives of Australia to let people know about new images that are uploaded to their collection. The National Archives uploads between 50-1000 digital copies a day and upwards of 15,000 a month, so there is always a lot of new content to browse.

The website by default shows you the newly scanned records from the last 3 days. You can select to see up to 1 months worth of recent records, and you can refine by a date range or filter by a keyword. A very handy extra is the ability to subscribe. Subscribing allows you to enter your email address and keywords and if those keywords match a newly scanned record you will be sent a message alerting you there is potentially a record of interest available to view. You can then share those records with friends and family by selecting a social media site or email.  All images are open and available to the public.
Some of the things you can find on SODA include war graves records cards, cabinet minutes, enlistment photographs, reparation records and so much more.
So have a look at SODA today.

Monday, June 27, 2016

2021 British Census Questions

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published its response to public consultation regarding the 2021 Census of England and Wales.
The report, available at, comments on a variety of enquiries about the upcoming survey raised by researchers and members of the public with an interest in census data.  The consultation ran from June to August 2015 and received a total of 606 responses from interested groups and individuals.
A number of respondents suggested that the Census should ask residents to provide their place of birth – a question that has not been asked since the 1951 Census.  Unfortunately the question received an overall ‘user requirement’ score of 17 out of 100, and ONS has stated that it will not be included in the upcoming survey, as it demonstrates a “low user need” and raised “concerns around respondent burden and costs relating to collection, response rates and coding”.
The report also states that the 2021 Census will not ask residents to supply their maiden names – another question that had been suggested by family history researchers taking part in the consultation.
2021 Census director Ian Cope commented that while the ONS recognised the genealogical value of census data, there was not enough space to include every single question submitted by the public.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Gloucestershire Prison Records on Ancestry

Prison registers and mugshots from Gloucestershire has been made available online for the first time.
Released by Ancestry on Monday 20th June, the new Gloucestershire Prison Records provides details about individuals who found themselves in prison between 1728 and 1914 and comprises over 235,000 records.
Searchable by name, age, type, date and location of crime, the digitised prison registers cover several different gaols across the county, with many of the records from 1870 onwards accompanied by photographs.
Below is the record of seven-year-old Edgar Kilminster, complete with mugshot, who was arrested along with his brother for stealing sweetmeats.  As a result of his crime, Edgar – who was only 3ft 10in tall – was sentenced to seven days’ hard labour and given “12 strokes with the birch”.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Tipperary Studies Databases

Do you have roots in the Irish county of Tipperary?  The Tipperary Studies website could have useful information now available online for you.
Launched on Saturday 21 May, the new website's Digitization Project provides online access to a wealth of historic records held by the library, including rate books for the Poor Law Unions of Cashel, Nenagh and Thurles (1840s-70s) and Irish Tourist Association Reports (1942-45) for the county’s parishes.  One of the aims of the project is to make these and other information sources held by the Society available to everyone, free of charge.
Tipperary Studies also holds an annual Tipperary People and Places Lecture series throughout the winter months, commencing in October and running through to the following March. Lectures take place on the third Tuesday of each month at 7.30pm, in the Gallery of the Source Library, Thurles. Each season the Series covers a number of different subjects. The Society also has its own YouTube Channel where videos of past lectures can be viewed.