Genealogy news round-up: Plymouth and West Devon electoral records revealed

By Jon Bauckham, 14 January 2016 - 4:59pm

Plus: Volunteers sought for New Zealand WW1 project; The National Archives appoints new executive directors; Transcribers invited to attend London conference

Plymouth Devon

Plymouth's shipyards, depicted in an 18th-century illustration (Photo: Getty Images)

A large collection of West Country electoral records has been published on Findmypast. Added last Friday (8 January), the genealogy site’s latest major release features scans of parish and parliamentary electoral rolls held at Plymouth & West Devon Record Office, spanning 1780-1973. Fully searchable by name and date, the earliest records in the set not only reveal the residence of a registered voter, but the name of the candidate they voted for. Search the records here (requires subscription or credits).

Findmypast has also updated its Kent baptisms collection, adding 16,000 new records from the parishes of Addington, Ash, Cuxton, Offham and Ridley.
 

Volunteers sought for New Zealand WW1 project

Academics in New Zealand and the United States are appealing for volunteers to help them transcribe thousands of historic First World War records. Staff from the University of Waikato and the University of Minnesota aim to create a database of all New Zealanders who served in the forces as part of a research project entitled Measuring the Anzacs, which will analyse soldiers’ health by collecting data in service records such as height and weight. However, due to the genealogical value of the records, the team also hopes to make the transcriptions available for family historians to access online. Find out more here.
 

The National Archives appoints new executive directors

The National Archives (TNA) has announced the appointment of two new executive directors. Former head of research Dr Valerie Johnson has been named director of research and collections, while John Sheridan will serve as digital director. TNA chief executive and keeper Jeff James said he was “delighted” with the appointments, and hoped to work closely with his new colleagues on the organisation’s Archives Inspire initiative. Read the full story here.
 

Transcribers invited to attend London conference

Volunteers who help transcribe records for Free UK Genealogy are being invited to attend a conference later this month. Taking place at the Linnean Society of London on Saturday 30 January, the aim of the event is to open a consultation on the wording of the organisation’s transcriber agreement. It is hoped that the content available on all Free UK Genealogy websites – which includes FreeBMD and FreeCen – can be made freely accessible forever by classifying it as 'open data'. Find out more here.
 

Easter Rising roll of honour goes online

Ireland’s Military Archives has released a roll of honour from the 1916 Easter Rising. Available as a free PDF download, the list features the names of 78 men who died on active service either as a member of the Irish Volunteers, Irish Citizen Army, Na Fianna Éireann, the Hibernian Rifles and Cumann na mBan. Access the list by clicking here.
 

Slavery museum acquires new artefacts

Liverpool’s International Slavery Museum has expanded its collections following a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Among the new acquisitions is a 19th-century engraving by British caricaturist James Gillray, depicting the shocking treatment of slaves in the West Indies, as well as a pair of shackles used to restrain enslaved Africans on board ships across the Atlantic. Read the full story here.

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