Second batch of “Six in Six” records available to search this Findmypast Friday, May 20, 2017

  • Over 1.3 million Nottinghamshire Parish records added to Findmypast’s UK collection
  • Release forms second phase of project to publish parish records from six English counties in six months
  • Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Somerset and Warwickshire still to come

Over 1.3 million new records are available to search this Findmypast Friday including baptisms, banns, marriages and burials transcribed from original parish registers and bishop’s transcripts by Findmypast and the Nottinghamshire Family History Society.

The release marks the second phase of Findmypast’s Six Counties in Six Months initiative. First launched back in April with over five million Wiltshire records, the project will see the online publication of vital parish records from Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Somerset and Warwickshire over the next four months.

Today’s new additions further expand Findmypast’s unrivalled collection of English and Welsh parish records – the largest collection available online. New records have also been added to the PERiodical Source Register.

Over 580,000 records have been added to our collection of Nottinghamshire baptisms. The collection now contains over 1.4 million transcripts that will reveal your ancestor’s baptism date, baptism location, religious denomination, residence and parent’s names.

Nottinghamshire Banns contains over 800 records. Banns are proclamations of a couple’s intention to marry. This proclamation would be read out three months prior to the intended marriage date on three consecutive Sundays in the couple’s home parishes. The practice was introduced in order to prevent clandestine marriages and to give local congregations time to raise any objections. Each transcript will reveal the couple’s names, birth years, marital status, residence, where there banns were read and the dates of their readings.

Over 295,000 records spanning 400 years have been added to our collection of Nottinghamshire Marriage records. The collection now contains over 984,000 transcripts that will reveal your ancestor’s birth year, residence, marriage date, marriage place, occupation, residence, father’s name, whether they were married by banns or licence, and corresponding details for their spouse. Some records may also lists the names of any witnesses.

Over 423,000 new transcripts have been added to our collection of Nottinghamshire burials. Each transcript will allow you to determine when and where your ancestor was laid to rest, their age at death and religious denomination. You may also find notes on their marital status, cause of death, occupation, or other significant biographical details. Burial records can help you get an idea of where your ancestors spent their final years.

Over 16,000 images have been added to five titles in the PERiodical Source Index. New images have been added to;

  • New York Researcher – volume 26, number 4 (2015) and volume 27, numbers 1 & 2 (2016)
  • New York Genealogical and Biographical Record – volume 147, numbers 1 & 2 (2016)
  • New Zealand Genealogist – volumes 1-8 (1970-1977); volume 10, number 94 (1979); volume 18, number 176 (1987); and volumes 26-39 (1995-2008)
  • Fenwick Colony Gazette – Volume 20, number 3 (2015) and volume 21, numbers 1 &2 (2015)
  • The Friend / Friend Intelligencer – volumes 23-36 (1849-1863)

The PERiodical Source Index (PERSI) enables you to easily locate key information about people and places. It contains millions of entries from thousands of historical, genealogical and ethnic publications and is a simple way of accessing articles, photos, and other material you might not find using traditional search methods. This can help to build the historical context around your personal research, and the world your ancestors lived in.

TheGenealogist launches the First World War issues of The Sphere newspaper

TheGenealogisthas expanded its Newspaper and Magazine collection with the release of The Sphere that cover August 1914 to June 1919. 
Using the Historical newspapers and magazines resource on TheGenealogist enables researchers to follow current affairs that may have affected or concerned our ancestors at the time. Because the articles were written as events were occurring, they provide contemporary accounts of the world that our ancestors lived in and can furnish us with great insights into opinions of the time. In the case of the First World War years, covered by this release of The Sphere, we can gain information about individuals or read about situations that are similar to ones that our ancestors may have found themselves in.

The Sphere was an illustrated paper founded by Clement Shorter (1857-1926) who was also responsible for establishing the Tatler and it covered general news stories from the UK and around the world.

War Memorials collection

Also being released at this time by TheGenealogist are another 116 War Memorials containing 10,795 names. Included in this batch are a number of Boer War memorials as well as those for the First World War. With this addition the total figure for memorials on

TheGenealogist has now reached 1,540 with 363,838 names.

To search these and many other records on TheGenealogist, go to:

The Sphere, providing insights into your ancestor’s lives.

Nick Thorne uses the Newspaper and Magazines collection to better understand conditions in World War I

I have been looking a little closer into the war exploits of my step-grandfather. I knew that he had joined the Royal Engineers Special Reserve Motor Cyclist Division as a despatch rider but, like many of his generation that fought in the First World War, he didn’t talk much about his experiences. What I did know was that he had found it ‘quite exciting’ to ride his despatches from headquarters to the front and back on a motorbike. He never expanded on this and certainly didn’t tell us stories about his escapades, nor what it was like to be a soldier on two wheels.

With the recent release of copies of The Sphere, on TheGenealogist, I was thus fascinated to come across the December 12 1914 edition of the publication. Here was an article about motorcycle despatch riders from the early part of the war. This day’s publication featured a double page evocative image of a motor-cycle despatch rider on his machine fleeing with the enemy on his tail. As I knew that my step-grandfather was in his late twenties at the time and a keen motorcycle rider I could imagine him reading pieces such as this and wanting to join up to the R.E. Motor Cyclists to ‘do his bit’.

I know that Grandpa also served in the western theatre of war and so this image and the report that followed, resonated with me. I could now imagine him in similar situations as had been described and pictured in the newspaper. In this particular article from the newly released records, the rider telling his story suffers a whole lot of problems: ‘On returning I take the wrong road and my machine gives trouble, and whilst repairing same I suddenly find myself surrounded by Uhlans.’ This narrator is captured, has his hands bound behind his back and he feigns illness. When his guard goes to fetch a doctor the British Tommy escapes by rolling into a ditch. This episode makes me realise that when my step-grandfather said it was ‘quite exciting’ this was probably a bit of an understatement. Their duties were certainly not a simple ride in the countryside.

The British Army in World War I would often used Douglas or Triumph Motorcycles for despatch riding duties which only had between 2 and 5 hp engines. Some riders, however, brought their own machines along when they joined up. These motorbikes would have to be inspected by the military to make sure that they were suitable for the purpose; but in the early days, when many of the men were volunteers, this would have meant that this section of the Royal Engineers Signals would have been up and running quickly. In my step-grandfather’s case, however, looking at his attestation papers I can see that this part had been scored through –  indicating that he would have had to be issued with an army bike.

Later in the First World War Grandpa was wounded and by reading other articles, such as that published on the 9th January 1915 about the RAMC work at the front, I got an understanding for how injured men were transferred in motorised omnibuses and ambulances that were also subject to breakdowns of their own.

Resources such as The Sphere, The War Illustrated, The Great War, The Illustrated London News,plus the other historical newspapers and magazines already found on TheGenealogist are great for building a picture of situations that our ancestors may have found themselves in. In some cases we may be lucky enough to find an ancestor actually named in a report – but even when that doesn’t happen we can find write-ups that provide us with an understanding of the wider conditions in which our ancestors worked, played or went to war in.

Another use that we can make of this resource is where we have an ancestor who was unfortunate enough to have lost their lives, while serving as an officer in the First World War.  In many editions of The SphereRolls of Honour were published. In these we are able to find a picture along with a few lines recording their loss.The Newspaper and Magazine collection is available to all Diamond subscribers of TheGenealogist.

Excellence in Genealogy Scholarship and Service Honored by National Genealogical Society Awards

ARLINGTON, VA, 12 MAY 2017—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) held its annual banquet on Friday evening, 12 May, at the NGS 2017 Family History Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, to present awards that acknowledge and honor genealogical scholarship and service.  The banquet speaker, Stuart Watson, spoke on the topic “Who is Family.” Each year, these awards are presented to organizations and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to NGS programs or have performed outstanding work in the field of genealogy, history, biography, or heraldry.
National Genealogy Hall of Fame

Beginning in 1986, the National Genealogy Hall of Fame program, administered by the National Genealogical Society, has honored outstanding genealogists whose achievements in the field of American genealogy have had a great impact on our field. Qualified nominations are solicited annually from genealogical organizations. Those nominated must have been deceased for at least five years and have been actively engaged in genealogy for a minimum of ten years. Their contributions to the field of genealogy in this country need to have been significant in a way that was unique, pioneering, or exemplary. Such contributions could have been as an author of books or articles that added significantly to the body of published works, served as a model of genealogical research or writing, or made source records more readily available. Nominees could also have been a teacher or lecturer, or contributed to the field through leadership in a genealogical organization or periodical. Entries are judged by a panel of genealogists from various parts of the United States.
This year, Peter Stebbins Craig, whose nomination was made by the American Society of Genealogists and the Swedish Colonial Society, was elected to the National Genealogy Hall of Fame.
Peter Stebbins Craig, a devoted historian and relentless genealogist, specialized in publishing genealogies of the first European settlers of southeastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. This settlement, better known as New Sweden, began in 1638 along both sides of the Delaware River. Craig was born in Brooklyn, New York, on 30 September 1928 and died in Washington, D.C., on 26 November 2009. His pioneering research and significant publications on the early Swedish settlers in the Delaware Valley earned him fellowships from both the American Society of Genealogists and the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania in 1991. In recognition of his contributions to Swedish history, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden bestowed on him the title of Knight First Class of the Royal Order of the Polar Star in 2002. He was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 by the Swedish Colonial Society in Philadelphia.
He was the founder of the journal Swedish Colonial News, published by the Swedish Colonial Society. There he published dozens of his articles on Swedish and Finnish families in southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He served as both historian and genealogist for the Society. He also chaired the publication committee that initiated the Gloria Dei Church records series titled Colonial Records of the Swedish Churches in Pennsylvania. Now in six volumes, this indispensable reference work details the church records for the years 1646-1768. He left his extensive research collection including books and monographs to the Society. They are adding his research, “The Craig Collection,” to the Society’s website.
As contributing editor for the Swedish American Genealogist, he published numerous articles. Especially notable are his “New Sweden Settlers,” an eight-part series that ran from 1996 to 1999, and “The 1693 Census of Swedes on the Delaware,” a series published 1989 to 1991.
Peter Craig received his BA from Oberlin College in 1950 and his law degree from Yale Law School in 1953. Prior to his career in genealogy, he was a lawyer specializing in railway law in various private and government positions. He served on the boards of the Swedish Colonial Society and the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania and often lectured on the “Antient Swedes.”
This year’s nomination was submitted by the American Society of Genealogists with supporting recognition by the Swedish Colonial Society and the editor of the Swedish American Genealogist.
The Shirley Langdon Wilcox Award for Exemplary Volunteerism

The Shirley Langdon Wilcox Award for Exemplary Volunteerism recognizes a volunteer whose generosity of spirit and time has greatly benefited the National Genealogical Society and the genealogical community in general over a period of years.  Ruth J. Turner of Vienna, Virginia, was this year’s award recipient.
Ruth J. Turner has been a very active member of the National Genealogical Society, the Fairfax Genealogical Society, and the Virginia Library Association for many years.  She managed the NGS book store at Glebe House and would often stuff conference envelopes and assist with other projects at NGS headquarters.  She has also served on the board of the Fairfax Genealogical Society in a number of positions, including the records chair, and selected and purchased books for the Fairfax County Library’s genealogy collection. 
Turner has assisted with the Fairfax Society’s annual conference and annual fall fair, assisting with registration and other duties.  For many years, she was active in the Virginia Library Association and served as registration chair for their annual conference.
The Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award recognizes dedication to the work of the National Genealogical Society.  Recipients must have been a member of the society for at least one year. This award may be presented to an individual more than one time. 
In recognition of her efforts on behalf of the National Genealogical Society, the Board of Directors has awarded Sharon L. McKinnis of Temple Hills, Maryland, its Distinguished Service Award. McKinnis took over the Member Ancestor Charts scanning project in December 2010.  In the first six months, she scanned more than 8,400 charts.  She has continued to work at least ten hours a week since taking over the project and completed the project in April 2017.  As a result of her efforts, all 58,614 MAC charts in the NGS collection have been indexed and uploaded to the member only portion of the website and are available for research by NGS members.
Note: NGS is not able to accept additional ancestor charts.
The second recipient of the NGS Distinguished Service Award is Jane Van Tour of Redondo Beach, California. At the 2013 conference in Las Vegas, Van Tour observed how busy the staff was at the conference and offered to help.  At every conference since she has assisted in the registration booth whenever she was needed.  She has reprinted badges, stuffed conference bags, helped attendees with directions, helped with technology issues, and many other jobs, often with a funny story and always with a smile.
National Genealogical Society Past President, Jordan Jones, of Raleigh, North Carolina, was awarded the NGS Past President’s pin for his service as president from 2012-2016. 
National Genealogical Society Quarterly’s Award for Excellence

The NGSQ Award for Excellence is presented for an outstanding article published in the NGSQ in the previous calendar year. For 2016, the editors have chosen Rafael Arriaga, a Mexican Father in Michigan: Autosomal DNA Helps Identify Paternity by Karen Stanbary, CGSM of Chicago, Illinois, published in the June 2016 issue of the NGSQ
Award for Excellence: Genealogical Methods and Sources

This year’s recipient was Aaron Goodwin of New York, New York. The title of his entry was New York City Municipal Archives: An Authorized Guide for Family Historians.  This award is for a specific, significant single contribution in the form of a book, an article, or a series of articles that discuss genealogical methods and sources that serves to foster scholarship and/or advances or promotes excellence in genealogy. 
Award for Excellence: Genealogy and Family History Book

This year’s recipient was Karen V. Sipe, of Seattle, Washington. The title of her entry was A History of the Youtsey Family in America. This award is for a specific, significant single contribution in the form of a family genealogy or family history book published in the past five years. Entries serve to foster scholarship and/or otherwise advance or promote excellence in genealogy.
The President’s Citation

The President’s Citation is given in recognition of outstanding, continuing, or unusual contributions to the field of genealogy or the society. This year, the President’s Citation honors Charles “Chuck” S. Mason Jr. of Virginia who has given generously of his time and talents to benefit the genealogical community by acting as Chairperson for the NGS Awards and Benefits for a number of years.
Senior Rubincam Youth Award

Ryan Patrick Day of Burlington, New Jersey, was the winner of this year’s Senior Rubincam Youth Award (for students in grades 10–12 or between the ages of 16 and 18). The title of his entry was The Day/Richmond Family History Five Generations.  The Senior Rubincam Award was established in 1986 to honor Milton Rubincam, CG, FASG, FNGS, for his many years of service to NGS and to the field of genealogy. The award encourages and recognizes our youth as the next generation of family historians. 
Junior Rubincam Youth Award

Katie Cowart of Kenneth Square, Pennsylvania, won this year’s Junior Rubincam Youth Award (for students in grades 7–9 or between the ages of 13 and 15).  The title of her entry was Katherine Violet Matchie Cowart’s Biography.  The Junior Rubincam Award was established in 1986 to honor Milton Rubincam, CG, FASG, FNGS, for his many years of service to NGS and to the field of genealogy. The award encourages and recognizes our youth as the next generation of family historians. 

About the National Genealogical Society

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogical education, exemplary standards of research, and the preservation of genealogical records.  The Arlington, Virginia, based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, and guidance in research. It also offers many opportunities to interact with other genealogists.

New City of York records available to search at Findmypast

A Yorkshire Witch, the King of the Railways, a host of confectioners and the unfortunate Mr Chicken: over six centuries of life in historic York revealed online for the first time 
  • Findmypast launch new landmark collection spanning 660 years of the city’s rich history in partnerships with Explore York
  • Over 290,000 records dating back to the reign of King Edward I now available to search and explore online
  •  New records shed light on the city’s historic engineering & confectionary industries and document some of York’s most celebrated residents

Leading UK family history website has today, 12th May 2017, published online for the first time hundreds of thousands of historic records in partnership with Explore York.

This landmark publication marks the creation of Findmypast’s York collection, a rich archive spanning the years 1272 to 1932. Comprising beautifully scanned images of original handwritten documents, the collection forms the largest online repository of historic City of York records in the world.

The collection is comprised of a variety of fascinating documents, including:

  • Hearth & window tax records – 1665-1778
  • Lists of Apprentices and freemen – 1272-1930
  • City of York trade directories
  • Electoral Registers 1832-1932
  • City of York school admission registers
  • City of York deeds registers 1718-1866
  • City of York militia & muster rolls 1509-1829
  • City of York calendars of prisoners 1739-1851

The records are full of fascinating details of York life through the ages and will provide researchers from all over the world with the opportunity to uncover the stories of the inhabitant’s one of England’s oldest cities for the very first time. Fully searchable transcripts of each original document are also included, enabling anyone to go online and search for their York ancestors by name, location and date.

Paul Nixon, Content Licensing Manager at Findmypast, said: “Findmypast already has the best collection of Yorkshire records online and we’ve now cemented this with six centuries’ worth of records from the City of York Archives. Apprentices, land-owners, prisoners, scholars, soldiers, tradesmen, and voters; we’ve covered York and its history from every angle, and we’re thrilled to have been chosen as Explore York’s partner on this important project.”

York’s rich history revealed

The collection will be of great interest to local and social historians as the records can provide incredible insights into numerous historical figures and events that shaped the county’s rich history.

Lists of Apprentices and Freemen dating back to the 13th century shed light on the history of trade and commerce within the city and record the details of a number illustrious former residents. During the 19th century, the introduction of the railways and the work of pioneers such George Hudson established engineering in the city and eventually the repair and manufacture of engines and carriages became an important industry. In 1839 a small repair shop was opened on Queen Street and within ten years it was repairing engines to the tune of £15,000 a year. The work on engines continued in York until about 1905 and many carriage builders, painters, trimmers, listers and drivers can be found in the records.

The records also reveal how the railways led to the expansion of the city’s confectionary businesses, namely Rowntree’s Cocoa Works. For a number of reasons York became a centre for the production of confectionery and cocoa in the 1800s and by the end of the century, it was second only to the railways as an employer in York. This too is reflected by large number of confectioners listed in the city Freemen records.

Historic prison records dating back to the early 18th century reveal fascinating insights into the history of crime and punishment in England. They reveal many ordinary and extraordinary stories of criminals and victims from the Georgian highway robber, the Victorian murderer and the petty thief, to the common rural poacher, unemployed petty food thief and the early trade unionist. A number of the crimes listed are truly shocking, such as the case of 11 year old Luke Wright, whose entry read: “Luke Wright, late of the parish of Rotherham, in the County of York, shoemaker, committed the 7th day of April, 1810, charged by the Coroner’s Inquest, on view of the body of Matthew Anderson, lying dead at the parish of Rotherham aforesaid, with feloniously stabbing, killing, and slaying the said Matthew Anderson.”

The York collection contains fascinating Militia Muster Rolls dating back to the reign of Henry VIII. During the 16th & 17th centuries, the militia was an important institution in English life and every parish was required to furnish a quota of eligible men. Likewise, each household was assessed for the purpose of finding weapons, armour, horses, or their financial equivalent, according to their status. The records, which list the names of eligible men and the equipment they could provide, show how the militias were mainly comprised of untrained civilians armed with primitive weapons, revealing how ill-prepared for an emergency they actually were. The records also contain the details of men who fought with Colonel Henry Waite’s Yorkshire Trained Band Regiment of Foot. Raised by Sir Henry Slingsby in 1642, this Royalist regiment was responsible for the defence of the city when it came under siege during the English Civil War.

Famous folk found in the records

Covering a wide area and timeframe, many of the city’s most famous sons and daughters can be found within the records, including;

  • Joseph Aloysius Hansom (26 October 1803 – 29 June 1882) – the prolific English architect, inventor of the Hansom cab and founder the eminent architectural journal, The Builder – In 1834 Hanson registered his design for a ‘Patent Safety Cab’ with a number of distinctive safety features including a suspended axle, larger wheels and a lower position of the cab, features that resulted in less wear and tear and fewer accidents. He went on to sell the patent to a company for £10,000; however, as a result of the purchaser’s financial difficulties, the sum was never paid.

  • George Hudson (1800 –1871) – the  English railway financier and politician who became known as “The Railway King” – Hudson played a significant role in linking London to Edinburgh by rail, carrying out the first major merging of railway companies (the Midland Railway) and developing York into a major railway junction. Hudson’s success was built on dubious financial practices and he lost everything following a series of enquiries in 1849. He was declared bankrupt and, after losing his seat in Sunderland, was forced to live abroad to avoid arrest for debt, returning only when imprisonment for debt was abolished in 1870.

  • Richard Chicken – Initially an actor, and then a clerk at various establishments, Mr Chicken is believed to have provided Charles Dicken’s with the inspiration for David Copperfield’s Mr Micawber, whose recipe for happiness – ‘Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery’ – is often quoted. A well-known figure on York’s Victorian scene and a father of twelve, Chicken spent his career struggling to stay afloat and lived his domestic life, just as Wilkins Micawber did, in the expectation that something would turn up – sadly it never did!
  • Anne Ward – early female printer and proprietor of the York Courant – Ann took control of the paper following the death of her husband Caesar in 1759 and moved the press to a house next to the George Inn, in Coney Street. According to Robert Davies in his 1868 Memoir of the York Press, the Wards turned the York Courant into‘a journal of superior class to that of any York newspaper that attempted to compete with it.’ The first two pages of the York Courant were devoted mainly to foreign and national news culled from despatches arriving in London. On pages 3 and 4 city and county news, opinion, notices, letters and local gossip rubbed shoulders with a variety of advertisements.
  • Mary Bateman (1768 – 20 March 1809), also known as the Yorkshire Witch can be found within the prison records – After being dismissed as a domestic servant for petty theft, Bateman became a minor thief and con artist who convinced her victims that she possessed supernatural powers. By the late 1790’s, she had become a prominent fortune-teller in Leeds who prescribed potions which she claimed would ward off evil spirits as well as acting as medicine. She was also responsible for a hoax known as The Prophet Hen of Leeds, in which eggs laid by a hen were purported to predict the end times. In 1806 she was approached by William and Rebecca Perigo who believed they had been cursed. Over the next several months, Bateman fed the pair pudding laced with poison. Rebecca soon succumbed but William continued to pay Bateman for more than two years until he finally grew suspicious and went to the authorities. In March 1809, Bateman was tried in York and found guilty of fraud and murder. Sentenced to death, she attempted to avoid her execution by claiming she was pregnant, but a physical examination disproved this. She was finally hanged alongside two men on 20 March 1809. After her execution, her body was put on public display and strips of her skin were tanned into leather and sold as magic charm to ward off evil spirits.
  • Various members of the Tuke & Rowntree families including, Henry Isaac Rowntree, the brand’s founder, and his brother Joseph – Having served his apprenticeship in his father’s shop at The Pavement, Henry went to work for the Tuke family at their shop in Walmgate. In 1862 he bought out the chocolate, cocoa-making and chicory departments and ran the business himself employing around a dozen people, following Quaker principles and insisting on the highest quality. In August 1864 he bought a disused foundry at Tanners Moat and built a new factory there. Henry eventually became distracted by his mission to produce, edit and print the Yorkshire Weekly Press and his chocolate business suffered as a result. In June 1869 he took on his brother Joseph as a full partner in the business and renamed it “H. I. Rowntree & Co”. The brothers continued in partnership and the business went from strength to strength until Henry’s death in 1883.

All of these records can be explored at 

About Findmypast

Findmypast (previously DC Thomson Family History) is a British-owned world leader in online family history. It has an unrivalled record of online innovation in the field and 18 million registered users across its family of online brands, which includes Lives of the First World War, The British Newspaper Archive and Genes Reunited, amongst others.

Its lead brand, also called Findmypast, is a searchable online archive of over eight billion family history records, ranging from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers and lots more. For members around the world, the site is a crucial resource for building family trees and conducting detailed historical research. 

In April 2003, Findmypast was the first online genealogy site to provide access to the complete birth, marriage, and death indexes for England & Wales, winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation. Since that time, the company has digitized records from across the globe, including major collections from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States. Findmypast, in association with The National Archives, recently launched the 1939 Register, a record of 41 million lives on the eve of World War II.