Genealogy news roundup: Society of Genealogists launches associate membership

By Rosemary Collins, 19 October 2017 - 3:08pm

Plus: Findmypast expands East End and Kent collections; Antiques site appeals for help with First World War engagement mystery; TheGenealogist adds army records

Computers and microfiche readers at the Society of Genealogists. Credit: WDYTYA? Magazine

Family historians now have the opportunity to join the Society of Genealogists (SoG) with associate membership, a cheaper offer designed for those who do most of their research online.

Associate membership costs £56 a year, whereas full membership costs £80.

Associate members are still able to access SoG’s online resources, including digitised documents and online tutorials and courses.

They will get a 50% discount on a visitor’s pass to the society’s library in London, whereas full members get free entry, the right to borrow certain items from the library, and voting rights at the society’s AGM.

Else Churchill, genealogist at SoG, told Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine: “We realise that people want to do more research at home. Digital is the way we’re going.”


Findmypast expands East End and Kent collections

Findmypast has added thousands of new parish records to its sets from London’s East End and Kent.

The family history website added transcriptions of 10,512 East End and Docklands marriage records, dating from 1558 to 1859.

It also added 40,394 baptism records, as well as 35,438 burial records from the whole of Greater London.

In addition, it added transcripts and images for 13,870 baptisms, 2,416 banns, 6,201 marriages and 9,799 burials in Kent.


Antiques site appeals for help with First World War engagement ring mystery

The discover of a mysterious First World War love letter and engagement ring has led to an appeal to find the rightful owner.

A dealer at LoveAntiques, an online antiques marketplace, purchased a chest of drawers in Somerset only to discover the letter and ring in a locked drawer.

The letter was written by a soldier called George before he left to fight in March 1916, and was given to his mother to a deliver to a woman called Eileen.

In the letter, George tells Eileen he is sorry for leaving so suddenly and he wants to marry her when he returns, leaving his grandmother’s ring as a promise.

Anyone who might be able to identify George or Eileen or has any more information is urged to get in contact so the ring can be returned to one of their families.


TheGenealogist adds army records

Records listing British soldiers in 1851, 1861 and 1871 are now available on TheGenealogist.

The family history website has added the Worldwide Army List, consisting of over 600,000 records compiled from the musters contained in the WO 10-11-12 Series of War Office Paylists at The National Archives.

In addition, TheGenealogist added issues of The Illustrated War News from the latter part of the First World War, with 3,368 pages dating from 6 September 1916 to 10 April 1918.


British Newspaper Archive launches quarterly option

The British Newspaper Archive (BNA) is now offering the opportunity to subscribe to its website with billing every three months.

The cost for quarterly subscribers averages out as £8.64 a month, as opposed to £12.95 for monthly billing or £6.67 a month with yearly billing.

The BNA is slowly digitising the newspapers held by the British Library and adds new issues every week.

It has digitised 22,445,529 pages so far, with an eventual target of 40 million.


Imperial War Museums announces programme to mark end of First World War

Imperial War Museums (IWM) has announced that it will mark the centenary of the end of the First World War with ‘Making a New World’, a season of exhibitions, installations and immersive experiences at its sites around the country.

A new exhibition, ‘Lest We Forget?’, will open at IWM North in Manchester on 27 July and explore how symbols of commemoration – from the poppy to the two minute silence – have endured for a century, but also sparked controversy.

‘Generation Hope: Life after the First World War’, opening on 21 September at IWM London, will look at hope and aspiration in the decade following the First World War, the ‘Roaring Twenties’.

In addition, two sculptures made up of the handmade ceramic poppies created as part of the First World War centenary celebrations will appear at IWM as part of a nationwide tour, before joining the museums’ permanent collection.

‘Wave’ will be at IWM North from 8 September to 25 November and ‘Weeping Window’ will be at IWM London from 6 October to 18 November.

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