Genealogy news roundup: GRO extends PDF pilot to July

By Rosemary Collins, 25 January 2018 - 2:42pm

Plus: Thousands of records put online during Transcription Tuesday; The National Archives announces Second World War POW project; Jersey records released on Findmypast

The pilot allows family historians to order PDF copies of birth and death records

The General Register Office (GRO) has announced that its latest pilot scheme for ordering PDF birth and death records will now run for at least nine months.

The scheme launched on 12 October 2017 with an original timescale of three months, which now takes it to 12 July 2018.

It allows family historians to order digital copies of birth certificates from 1837 to 1916 and death certificates from 1837 to 1957 for £6 each, with a waiting period of five working days, providing a quicker and cheaper alternative to ordering print copies.

Over 79,600 PDFs were ordered in the first three months of the scheme, which the GRO has yet to establish on a permanent basis.


Thousands of records put online during Transcription Tuesday

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine’s popular Transcription Tuesday event returned this week, with volunteers from around the world transcribing thousands of important historic documents.

In total, 335 volunteers took part in the event on 23 January 2018, beating the total of 329 in the first event last year.

Volunteers could choose between five teams, each led by a WDYTYA? staff member, as a way of helping fellow family historians by opening up records collections to online access.

Thousands of records put online during Transcription Tuesday


The National Archives announces Second World War POW project

The National Archives (TNA) has announced an ambitious project to catalogue the records of prisoners of war during the Second World War.

In December 2014, the Ministry of Defence transferred record series WO 416 to TNA.

The series contains an estimated 190,000 records of individuals captured in German occupied territory during the Second World War, primarily Allied servicemen but also including civilians. The records were kept on cards by German authorities.

TNA has announced a project to catalogue the collection, making records accessible for those born more than 100 years ago or where there is proof of death, which will run until 2020.


Jersey records released on Findmypast

A new collection of parish records from the island of Jersey is now available on Findmypast.

The new collection contains transcripts of records of over 228,000 baptisms, over 119,000 marriages and over 155,000 burials, dating from the 16th century to the Second World War.

They contain links to Jerripedia, a free database where the records were originally indexed.

Findmypast also announced a new search feature. When users click ‘Add to tree’ on a record, it automatically converts into a hint, allowing them to merge information from the record with the relevant person’s profile on their family tree.


University of Strathclyde free online genealogy course returns

The University of Strathclyde’s latest free online genealogy MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) will begin on 29 January.

As well as teaching basic genealogy techniques and how to communicate family history, the course has been updated to include more information on autosomal DNA testing.

This course will also include live updates from the RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, which runs from 28 February to 3 March.

It runs for six weeks in partnership with FutureLearn, requiring four hours of work a week, and is primarily designed for people at beginner to intermediate level.

14-18 NOW announces 2018 season

14-18 NOW, the organisation responsible for art works commemorating the First World War, has launched its programme to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the conflict.

The organisation has announced a new film from Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson, made up of restored Imperial War Museums’ footage of the war.

It has also promised a work by Danny Boyle, director of Slumdog Millionaire and creator of the Olympics opening ceremony, which will “invite communities across the UK to come together” on the centenary of the end of the war on 11 November.

Furthermore, it announced “the largest artwork ever attempted in the UK”, with women and girls coming together across the nation on 10 June, to mark 100 years since women gained the right to vote.


Society of Genealogists releases genealogy beginners’ course

The Society of Genealogists (SoG) has added a new Genealogy Beginners’ Course as part of its plan to introduce more digital resources in its Member’s Zone.

The course is taught by genealogist Emma Jolly and consists of ten short modules, covering topics including different kinds of records, Nonconformists, the British in India and tracing living relatives.

Each module includes short tests and an opportunity to follow up the module on the members' community hub.

The new course follows SoG’s introduction of a two-tier membership structure, with full members allowed complete access to the society’s resources and associate members using the online resources.


Commonwealth War Graves Commission launches new-look blog

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) has relaunched its blog to provide a greater insight into its work commemorating the men and women who died in the First and Second World Wars and maintaining their graves and cemeteries.

The blog will be regularly updated with first-hand pieces by CWGC staff from gardeners and stonemasons, to historians and archivists, beginning with a post by director general Victoria Wallace.

Liz Woodfield, CWGC’s director of information and communications, said the blog was “a wonderful opportunity” to share an insight into the work of CWGC’s teams maintaining its estate.

It also features the family stories and photographs of those commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, submitted by their descendants as part of the Shrouds of the Somme project.



Thousands of records put online during Transcription Tuesday
previous news Article
Over 105,000 Wiltshire wills released online
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Thousands of records put online during Transcription Tuesday
previous news Article
Over 105,000 Wiltshire wills released online
next news Article
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