Genealogy news round-up: Ancestry launches new free podcast

By Jon Bauckham, 8 September 2016 - 4:05pm

Plus: Historic Irish BMD records now free online; Twile adds GEDCOM merge feature; Scientists confirm cause of Great Plague; Campaign seeks families of Llanelli war heroes

It's About Time Ancestry Sir Tony Robinson
Three episodes of It's About Time have already been made available online

Family history website Ancestry has launched a new free podcast.

Presented by Sir Tony Robinson, It’s About Time aims to "bring stories from the past to life in the present”, as well as providing practical genealogy advice.

The first episode – available to download on iTunes and Stitcher – explores the circumstances surrounding the murder of 17-year-old Mary Ann Mason, who was shot dead in Dudley in 1855.

Two further episodes, focusing on the stories of US immigrants and the lives of the Pankhurst sisters, have also been released.

Upcoming instalments will look at the heritage of Star Wars actor Mark Hammill and see Sir Tony Robinson examine his own AncestryDNA test results.

Find out more and download the podcast here.
 

Historic Irish BMD records now free online

Millions of Irish civil registration records have been released online, completely free of charge.

Available via IrishGenealogy.ie, the records provide an array of details about births, marriages and deaths registered in the country dating back to the mid-19th century.

While basic indexes to the records have been available through the state-run genealogy site since 2014 (with some entries already on FamilySearch), users can view scans of the full register entries online for the first time.

Read the full story here.
 

Twile adds GEDCOM merge feature

Twile has unveiled a new feature designed to make it easier for researchers to keep their family history timelines up to date.

As the result of recent development work, the site now has the ability to merge multiple GEDCOM files, meaning that users with saved data spread across different services such as Ancestry and Findmypast can consolidate their findings into a single Twile timeline.

Crucially, users can keep importing newer versions of GEDCOM files into the site as their genealogy research develops.
 

Scientists confirm cause of Great Plague 

Scientists in Germany have confirmed the exact cause of London’s Great Plague.

The epidemic, which killed nearly a quarter of the city’s population between 1665 and 1666, was caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis.

While Yersinia pestis has been attributed to several outbreaks of bubonic plague in the past, some academics had previously questioned whether a different pathogen was in fact responsible.

However, recent tests on human remains unearthed during London’s Crossrail construction project in 2015 have now confirmed the presence of DNA from Yersinia pestis for the first time.

Read the full story here.
 

Campaign seeks families of Llanelli war heroes

A search is underway to find the descendants of pupils from a Welsh school who gave their lives during the First and Second Wars.

Members of the Old Boys Union of Llanelli Boys’ Grammar School are hoping that family members will be present for the unveiling of a new memorial at the former school site in November.

The organisers are also interested in hearing from anyone who may possess photographs or any other information regarding the men.

See a full list of names and get in touch here.

TV and Radio highlights: 9-15 September 2016
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TV and Radio highlights: 16-22 September 2016
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TV and Radio highlights: 9-15 September 2016
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TV and Radio highlights: 16-22 September 2016
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