Genealogy news round-up: Findmypast launches Leicestershire Collection

By Jon Bauckham, 26 January 2017 - 3:38pm

Plus: Jersey parish registers go digital; Tipperary records now free online; Researcher seeks families of Fleetwood WW2 heroes; Early 'census' shines light on St Kilda lives; Burnley Library changes draw criticism

The collection includes records of baptisms, marriages and burials at Leicester Cathedral, originally the parish church of St Martin’s (Credit: Getty Images)

Over 3.5 million historic Leicestershire records have been published on Findmypast.

Released on Monday (23 January), the website’s brand-new Leicestershire Collection provides access to a wealth of material from across the East Midlands county and its smaller neighbour Rutland.

Digitised in partnership with the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, the bulk of the dataset comprises parish records of baptisms, banns, marriages and burials. Fully searchable, each of the transcribed entries is accompanied by a scan of the page on which it appears.

The collection also includes 173,000 wills and probate records from 1500-1939, plus browse-only electoral registers from the across the region spanning 1836-1974.

Search the records here (requires credits or subscription)

Jersey parish registers go digital

Thousands of historic Jersey parish records have been published on the web for the first time.

Spanning 1540-1940, the Church of England baptism, marriage and burial registers have been released on Ancestry thanks to a new partnership with Jersey Heritage.

Fully indexed, famous names within the release include Boots the Chemist founder Jesse Boot, who was married at St Helier Town Church in 1886, as well as Edward VII’s mistress Lillie Langtry, who was baptised on the island in 1853.

Crucially for family historians, each of the entries is accompanied by a scan of the original register page, providing details not present within the index.

Search the collection here (requires subscription).

Tipperary records now free online

A wealth of free records from the Irish county of Tipperary have been made available online thanks to the region’s central archives.

Launched in 2016, the Tipperary Studies website boasts three new record sets alongside its existing collections of rate books, Incumbered Estate documents and Irish Tourist Association reports.

Among the biggest new arrivals is a tranche of gravestone inscriptions from 58 locations across Tipperary, mainly in the north of the county. These have been published with the permission of Ormond Historical Society and the Killenaule Moyglass Development Association, whose members created the records.

The collection is complemented by a war graves database spanning 1914-1947, along with a series of Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) yearbooks, revealing information about local sportsmen and women in the 20th century.

Visit the website here.

Researcher seeks families of Fleetwood WW2 heroes

A researcher is hoping to get in touch with the families of men who appear in a collection of Second World War photographs.

Matthew Smaldon, from Oxfordshire, originally purchased the portraits from an auction website in 2015. Believed to have been used as part of an exhibition but never returned, detective work enabled Matthew to determine that each of the men depicted hailed from Fleetwood, Lancashire.

Although several of the photographs have since been claimed by surviving family members, Matthew is looking to reunite the remaining 15 images with their rightful owners.

To view the full collection of photographs, click here. If you are related to one of the men, please contact Matthew via email or phone 01235 415922.

Early 'census' shines light on St Kilda lives

Researchers in Edinburgh have discovered the oldest known record of population on St Kilda.

The 250-year-old ‘census’, dated 15 June 1764, was discovered during cataloguing by staff from the National Register of Archives for Scotland. It shows that the remote archipelago was home to 38 males and 52 females, including 19 families and nine individuals.

Up until the discovery, the earliest verified record dated from 1822.

For the full story, click here.

Burnley Library changes attract criticism

Changes to local and family history services at a Lancashire library have attracted criticism from researchers.

Following recent closure of the reference section at Burnley Library, which occupied the whole of the basement level, all of the resources have now been redistributed across a smaller area on the ground floor.

Speaking to the Burnley Express, local councillor Roger Frost said the changes are “a real blow” for family historians.

Read the full story here.

Ancestry offers 10% off DNA kits

Ancestry is offering a special discount on its Ancestry DNA testing kits until the end of this month.

The deal, organised in partnership with Who Do You Think You Are? Live, enables customers to get 10 per cent off every order until midnight on Tuesday 31 January (excluding shipping).

To take up the offer, enter the code WDYTYA10 in the coupon field when completing a DNA purchase on the Ancestry website.

Tickets for Who Do You Think You Are? Live at the Birmingham NEC on 6-8 April can be booked here.  

TV and radio highlights: 27 January – 2 February 2017
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TV and radio highlights: 27 January – 2 February 2017
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BBC reveals new changes to WDYTYA? schedule
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