Genealogy news roundup: Findmypast adds Wiltshire social and institutional records

By Rosemary Collins, 28 June 2018 - 3:45pm

Plus: TheGenealogist adds Change of Names database; Winners of £281,000 Archives Revealed grants announced; 135 million records for Denmark, Finland and Sweden added to FamilySearch

Wiltshire chapel historic
The Independent Chapel, Warminster, c. 1800. The new Findmypast collection includes Wiltshire Nonconformist records. (Credit: Hulton Archive/ Getty Images)

Different types of Wiltshire social and institutional records spanning from 1123 to 1968 are available in a new collection on Findmypast.

The collection contains searchable transcripts of 422,199 records altogether, including legal, Poor Law union and Nonconformist records.

They are taken from records held by the Wiltshire Record Society.

In addition, Findmypast added an index of 265,974 Fife death records, covering the years 1549-1877.


TheGenealogist adds Change of Names Database

TheGenealogist has published an index recording historic name changes in Britain.

The Change of Names Database records name changes listed in sources including Private Acts of Parliament; Royal Licences published in the London and Dublin Gazettes; notices of changes of name published in The Times after 1861; notices from other newspapers; registers of the Lord Lyon, where Scottish changes of name were commonly recorded; records in the office of the Ulster King at Arms; and private information.

Much of the information is taken from William Phillimore Watts Phillimore's An Index to Changes of Name, which is available for free from the Internet Archive, but TheGenealogist has made it searchable.

In addition, TheGenealogist added 19th century colour tithe maps of the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire to its tithe maps collection.


Winners of £281,000 Archives Revealed grants announced

Nine archives have been selected as the first winners of £281,258 worth of grants from Archives Revealed to catalogue their collections.

Archives Revealed announced on 19 June that it has allocated the grants to Berwick Record Office, Staffordshire Record Office, Explore York Libraries and Archives, Derbyshire Record Office, the University of St Andrews, Media Archive for Central England Midland, Aerospace Bristol, the British Motor Heritage Industry Trust, and Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children's Books.

Archives Revealed is a cataloguing grants scheme established with the support of The National Archives (TNA), the Pilgrim Trust, the Wolfson Foundation and the Foyle Foundation.

Jeff James, chief executive and keeper of TNA, said: "We are delighted to announce funding for the cataloguing of nine highly significant collections from across the country, transforming access to those archives, allowing new discoveries to be made and new stories to be told."


135 million records for Denmark, Finland and Sweden added to FamilySearch

FamilySearch has announced a major new release of 135.4 million digitised records from Denmark, Finland and Sweden.

The new collections include census records, probate records, church records, civil marriages, deeds and mortgages, household examination books and church census and preconfirmation books.

They were digitised in partnership with MyHeritage and the National Archives of Denmark and Finland.

Whitney Peterson, FamilySearch's international collections specialist, said that identify ancestors from these countries was often difficult due to the frequency of common names, and promised that the new, complete collections "will make it easier to find and track your ancestors".


RootsIreland adds County Westmeath records

New Roman Catholic church records are now available on the County Westmeath database on RootsIreland.

The website added 9,129 records altogether, including 6,046 baptisms, 2,290 marriages and 443 deaths from the parish of Castlepollard.

In total, the records cover years between 1793 and 1870.

RootsIreland also added small numbers of gravestone records from Killua Churchyard, Castletown Geoghegan and Multyfarnham Churchyard.


TimePix publishes 'early version of a family snap' at Stonehenge

Some of the earliest photographs of Stonehenge are now available to view online after being discovered by Timepix, a historical photo-mapping app supported by Ordnance Survey (OS).

The eight photographs, published in an 1867 book found in the OS archives, show the OS head Colonel Henry James and his family having a picnic on the prehistoric monument.

Elaine Owen, founder of TimePix, said that although OS used photography to assist with mapmaking at the time, this was the only time the camera was used away from OS headquarters in "an early version of a family snap".

The photographs show the stones in a different location to today, as they were restored to their rightful place in the early 1900s.



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