Genealogy news roundup: Findmypast adds Massachusetts records

By Rosemary Collins, 7 December 2017 - 2:59pm

Plus: Irish genealogists call for release of 1926 census; FamilySearch adds 1,606 images of Hampshire Bishop’s Transcripts; Website for European migration stories launches

Crew list of the ship Ortega, which arrived in Boston in 1918

Crew lists and death records from the American state of Massachusetts are now available to view on Findmypast.

The family history website has created a searchable index of 140,843 digital images of crew records from ships arriving in Boston from 1917-1943, originally published on FamilySearch.

In addition, it transcribed over 2.3 million Massachusetts death records from 1969 to 2010 and over six million obituary notices from across the United States.

Findmypast also added 13,729 records, originally created by Rotherham Family History Society, to its collection of Yorkshire memorial inscriptions, and 2,349 burial records from nonconformist churches in Sheffield.


Irish genealogists call for early release of 1926 census 

On the anniversary of the founding of the Irish Free State, the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations (CIGO) has launched a petition calling for the Irish government to release the 1926 census returns ahead of the standard 100-year limit.

On 6 December 1921, the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed, bringing an end to the Irish War of Independence and providing for the establishment of the Irish Free State, which was founded exactly a year later on 6 December 1922.

Now, CIGO is proposing releasing the 1926 census as part of the celebrations to mark the Free State’s 100th anniversary in 2022.

Colm Cochrane, chair of CIGO, called for genealogists and historians to “rally to the call” to release the census, as the organisation launched an online petition addressed to Leo Varadkar, the Taoiseach of Ireland, and Josepha Madigan, the heritage minister.

Irish genealogists call for early release of 1926 census to mark anniversary of Irish Free State


FamilySearch adds 1,606 images of Hampshire Bishop’s Transcripts

Free family history website FamilySearch has added 1,606 new images to its collection of Hampshire Bishop’s Transcripts.

The new images bring the total number in the website’s collection to 70,735 baptism, marriage and burial records, dating from 1680 to 1892.

Researchers can search the records on FamilySearch and view the images at an LDS Church family history centre or FamilySearch affiliate library.

FamilySearch has also added a range of international records, including making 1,042,384 records from the 1834 Danish census available for the first time, and adding to its 1840 and 1925 Danish census collections.


Website for European migration stories launches

The European Year of Cultural Heritage will be marked by a new website to share stories of how migration has contributed to Europe.

Europeana, the website for Europe’s cultural heritage, announced that throughout 2018, the Year of Cultural Heritage will be focused on migration, with individuals and heritage organisations submitting stories to the online Europeana Migration Collection.

Elisabeth Niggemann, chair of the Europeana Foundation and general director of the German National Library, said: “From folklore and traditions to visual arts and fashion, our diversity is an invaluable resource that can stimulate connections between people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures.”

Participation in the project begins in March 2018. Contributors can upload stories, documents, photographs, artwork, sounds, videos and more.


Zulu royal family to attend soldier’s grave restoration ceremony

The service to restore the grave of a soldier in Epsom who was killed in the Anglo-Zulu War will become a ceremony of reconciliation as descendants of both sides attend.

On 9 December, Lt Col Francis Vernon Northey’s restored wooden marker will be returned to his grave in Epsom, on the 138th anniversary of his burial after he was killed at the 1879 Battle of Gingindlovu.

The service will be attended by members of the Northey family, including Lt Col Simon Bedford (Rtd), and by Her Royal Highness Princess Zama-Zulu Shange, Princess Pakamile Shange and Prince Nqaba of the Zulu Royal House, who are directly descended from a commander at Gingindlovu.

A member of the family has also donated the bullet that killed Lt Col Northey to Bourne Hall Museum, which will put it on display.


Pankhurst Trust makes last-minute appeal to raise money for Suffragette Garden

The Pankhurst Trust has launched a last-minute appeal to reach its crowdfunding target for a memorial garden at a refuge for domestic abuse victims.

The trust operates the Pankhurst Centre in Manchester. The former home of Emmeline Pankhurst, who founded the Women’s Social and Political Union, and her family, now houses a small museum and Manchester Women’s Aid, which helps women and children escape abusive households.

To mark the 100th anniversary of women receiving the right to vote in 2018, the trust is raising money to refurbish its garden. This will provide a sanctuary for abused women and children, as well as a homage to the suffragettes' use of flowers in their campaigning.

The trust needs to raise £20,000 by 14 December, of which supporters have currently pledged £13,572 in exchange for rewards via the website Crowdfunder.

Bex Shindler, fundraising and develoment manager for the Pankhurst Trust, said: “The Suffragette Garden will be such an incredible legacy, not only symbolically but also practically, proving a tranquil and reflective space for women and children, many of whom have experienced great trauma within their lives. By pledging support, you will become an indelible part of the Pankhurst Centre’s story past, present and future.”


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