Genealogy news roundup: Ancestry releases millions of Scottish electoral records

By Jon Bauckham, 21 June 2018 - 5:13pm

Plus: Findmypast expands WW1 hospital collection; Pharos Tutors course gains AGRA recognition; FFHS announces conference speakers; PRONI digitises Northern Irish church registers

Aberdeenshire electoral register 1920
A sample electoral register page from 1920, showing some of the first women in Aberdeenshire eligible to vote. However, until 1928, female suffrage was still restricted to women over 30 who met certain property criteria (Credit: Ancestry/Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City Archives)

Over three million Aberdeenshire electoral records have been made available to explore on Ancestry for the first time.

Digitised in partnership with Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives, the dataset contains details of eligible voters who were resident in the historic Scottish county between 1832 and 1976.

Searchable by name, year and keyword, entries typically reveal the home address of the individual and the qualification that entitled them to vote.

Whereas the earliest records within the collection comprise the names of wealthy male property owners, later entries list men from across society, including a select number of women from 1918.

However, it is not until 1928 that the dataset becomes truly comprehensive, coinciding with the passing of the Representation of the People Act, which extended suffrage to all British men and women over the age of 21.

Crucially for family historians, the records were compiled on an annual basis, meaning it is also possible to trace the movements of ancestors in between census years.

Search the records here (requires subscription).


Findmypast expands WW1 hospital collection

Findmypast has added more than 691,000 entries to its First World War Soldiers' Medical Records collection.

Digitised from files found in series MH 106 at The National Archives, the record set contains the names of men who were hospitalised during active service, along with details of their rank, regiment and the dates on which they received treatment.

Importantly, researchers can also click through from the indexed entries to view scans of the original hospital admission and discharge books, revealing further information about the soldier's ailment and service history.

Although lacking in images, transcriptions of the same records from MH 106 can also be found on military genealogy website Forces War Records, where they are available to search with a subscription. The site has also just updated its separate WW1 Casualty Records collection (see below).


WW1 casualty database reaches one million records milestone

Over one million First World War casualty list records are now available to explore on Forces War Records.

The military genealogy site's newly updated WW1 Casualty Records collection allows subscribers to track down details of British and Commonwealth soldiers who were injured during active service between 1914 and 1918.

The entries have been carefully transcribed from daily casualty lists originally printed in the Daily Telegraph, as well as a copy of the later, weekly editions published by His Majesty's Stationery Office.

Read the full story here


Pharos Tutors course gains AGRA recognition

A popular distance learning qualification has been formally recognised by the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA).

Completion of the joint Pharos Tutors and Society of Genealogists Family History Skills & Strategies (Advanced) course will now be deemed an acceptable entry requirement for researchers applying to join the organisation.

Other qualifications approved by AGRA - which has rigorous membership criteria - include the Institute of Heraldic & Genealogical Studies Higher Certificate and the University of Strathclyde's Postgraduate Certificate in Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldic Studies.

Helen Osborn, co-founder and principal of Pharos Tutors said: "This honour shows how good our students are and is a reward for their hard work over many months."


FFHS announces conference speakers

The Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS) has revealed details of its upcoming autumn conference.

Taking place at Wesley's Chapel & Leysian Mission on Saturday 29 September, the London event will include talks from Findmypast's Myko Clelland, former Families in British India Society chairman Peter Bailey, Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain chairman Leigh Dworkin, professional genealogist Sharon Hintze, and founder Peter Higginbotham.

Tickets to the conference cost £19.50 and includes a buffet lunch. As the capacity of the venue is limited to 100, the FFHS advises prospective attendees to book early to avoid disappointment.


PRONI digitises Northern Irish church registers

A tranche of historic Northern Irish church registers has been digitised for the first time.

The records, which include details of baptisms, marriages, burials and vestry minutes dating back to the 18th century, have been scanned by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) with permission from the Church of Ireland, the Methodist Church in Ireland and the Congregational Union of Ireland.

Although the material will not be made available online, researchers will be able to consult the records at PRONI's Belfast premises from autumn 2018. A selection of Methodist and Church of Ireland records, digitised last year, can already be viewed onsite in this manner.

A full list of registers due to be included in the upcoming release can be viewed on Chris Paton's GENES Blog here.




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Genealogy news roundup: Findmypast releases second phase of suffrage records
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WW1 casualty database reaches one million records milestone
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Genealogy news roundup: Findmypast releases second phase of suffrage records
previous news Article
WW1 casualty database reaches one million records milestone
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