Genealogy news roundup: Irish GRO releases new records after delays

By Rosemary Collins, 30 November 2017 - 2:27pm

Plus: Findmypast introduces new pricing structure; British Newspaper Archive adds 109,586 new pages; Corrections to 1901 and 1911 Irish censuses published

Images of birth, marriage and death records are available on the site

IrishGenealogy, the Irish government’s free records website, has been updated with a new set of birth, marriage and death records.

Last month, the Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) criticised the Irish GRO in a blog post for delays in releasing marriage records from 1845 to 1882 and deaths from 1864 to 1891.

However, a new collection has now been added, including births for 1916, marriages from 1870 to 1881 and for 1941 and deaths from 1878 to 1890 and for 1966.

The records were initially uploaded on 13 November and went live in error, meaning that they suffered from problems such as missing registration districts and duplicate records. However, the errors have now been corrected.

Claire Santry, author of the blog Irish Genealogy News, told Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine that IrishGenealogy was a “terrific resource” but that there had been “very poor communication” about the release.


Findmypast introduces new pricing structure

Family history website Findmypast has announced a new pricing structure, changing how much subscribers pay and what records they will be able to access.

The new structure will have three tiers, of which the cheapest is the freshly introduced ‘Starter’ structure.

This costs £8.95 a month or £72 a year and is aimed at family history beginners, covering UK BMD and census records.

The more expensive packages are ‘Plus’ (£12.95 a month, £120 a year) and ‘Pro’ (£15.95 a month, £156 a year).

Findmypast introduces new pricing structure


British Newspaper Archive adds 109,586 new pages

The British Newspaper Archive (BNA) has added 109,586 new pages of historic newspapers in the past week.

These include 87,420 pages of a new title, The Graphic, a weekly illustrated newspaper which ran from 1869 to 1932.

In addition, the website added more pages of existing titles including the Hampshire Telegraph, the Oswestry Advertiser and the Goole Times.

In total, the BNA has digitised 22,673,989 pages, with an ultimate goal of 40 million.


Corrections to 1901 and 1911 Irish censuses published

Thousands of errors in the online 1901 and 1911 Irish censuses have now been published.

The 15,962 corrections were made by Irish genealogist John Grenham in partnership with the National Archives of Ireland and went live on 16 November.

On his blog, Grenham describes receiving thousands of emails from family historians highlighting inaccuracies in the census records, which first went online in 2009 and 2010. He then had to check the accuracy of the complaints.

He added that the errors, which included ‘pork ranger’ for ‘park ranger’, ‘boot owner’ for ‘boat owner’, children who were 60 years older than their parents and mothers-in-law described as 30-year-old men, would continue to be corrected in monthly batches.


Number of accredited archive services in the UK passes 100

There are now 104 accredited archive services in the UK, after The National Archives (TNA) announced that 18 more archives have received accreditation.

Accreditation is awarded to archives to recognise their success in good management, sustainability and responsiveness to stakeholders, among other criteria.

The newly accredited archives include Barnsley Archives and Local Studies, Orkney Archive and the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, as well as the archives for the National Theatre, the Royal Society, the Bank of England and Canterbury Cathedral and archives at Kent and Leicester archives and St John’s College, Cambridge.

In addition, the Archive Service Accreditation Panel approved the retention of accredited service at the three-year review stage for TNA, Lancashire Archives, Lincolnshire Archives and London Metropolitan Archives.


War of 1812 pension files available online for free

A new tranche of files detailing the pensions of American soldiers who fought in the War of 1812 has been digitised for free on military records website Fold3.

The latest files, covering the surnames M(Moore)-Q, have been made available as part of 'Preserve the Pensions', a joint project between the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the National Archives and Records Administration, and Fold3’s owner Ancestry.

The records digitised so far consist of images of approximately 180,000 pension and bounty land warrant application files from veterans and widows of America’s 1812-1815 war with the British Empire.

They allow family historians to find out details about an individual such as their age, place of residence and dates of marriage and death.


Mayor of London inaugurates Britain’s first Muslim archives

The first Muslim archives strong-room in Britain and Western Europe was inaugurated at the East London Mosque Trust on 22 November, in a ceremony attended by London mayor Sadiq Khan.

The trust archives stored in the new strong-room date back to 1910, when the mosque was founded.

Khan said the archives were “a great example of Muslims contributing to the wellbeing of East London more than a hundred years ago”.

The archives were established following a 2014 grant from The National Archives, which allowed the trust to catalogue a significant portion of its content.


Alzheimer’s Society launches guide to making heritage sites dementia friendly

A group of UK heritage organisations have published a guide to making heritage sites more accessible for the 850,000 people in the country living with dementia.

Rethinking Heritage: A guide to help make your site more dementia-friendly was produced by organisations including English Heritage and Historic Royal Palaces, with support from the Alzheimer’s Society and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The guide gives examples of good practice in engaging visitors with dementia at historic sites, where they can find the setting overwhelming or struggle to remember information.

For example, the Big Pit National Coal Museum in South Wales offered an online preview of its underground tour, so visitors knew what to expect, while Chatsworth House developed an ‘armchair gallery’ for residents in care homes in Nottinghamshire.

Findmypast introduces new pricing structure
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