Genealogy news roundup: TV producers seek candidates for DNA testing series

By Rosemary Collins, 12 July 2018 - 1:14pm

Plus: Irish Jewish Family History Database launches; GB1900 celebrates completion of map transcription project; Findmypast adds Cambridgeshire and Buckinghamshire records

DNA test
Renegade Pictures is looking for people interested in using DNA testing to answer questions about their family

Production company Renegade Pictures is looking for people who are interested in using DNA testing to solve questions about their immediate family in a new TV series.

This could include finding out the identity of a birth parent, siblings, grandparents or cousins.

The company, which has produced shows including Don't Tell the Bride and Car SOS, promised that the series would handle participants' stories "from a non-judgemental standpoint".

Applicants should get in contact via Renegade Pictures' website before 20 July.


Irish Jewish Family History Database launches

Over 60,000 records of the Irish Jewish community from 1700 to the present day are now available in a new online database.

Stuart Rosenblatt, president of the Genealogical Society of Ireland, launched his new website, Irish Jewish Roots, at the society's monthly meeting on 10 July.

The database, compiled by Mr Rosenblatt, contains information on 61,821 individuals, including date and place of birth and burial, education, marriage and occupation records, and entries in the Alien registration records of 1914-1922 when non-national (non-British subjects) had to register with the police.

Researchers can search for an individual by name for free, and order copies of their records for £10 (UK) each, or contact Mr Rosenblatt for a skeleton family tree.


GB1900 celebrates completion of map transcription project

The GB1900 map transcription project celebrated its completion and announced its future at an event at the Institute of Historical Research on 9 July.

Through the University of Portsmouth project, which launched in September 2016, over 1,000 online volunteers transcribed over 2.5 million British place names from historic 6-inch Ordnance Survey maps.

It was announced at the event that the data will now be available for other researchers to download under a Creative Commons licence, and it is hoped that this will encourage new uses that may benefit family historians in the future.

The project organisers also thanked the volunteers for their hard work, and singled out five people who transcribed hundreds of thousands of records - Dave Leach, Terry and Pam Aucott, Adrian Cable and Harm Bouwman.


Findmypast adds Cambridgeshire and Buckinghamshire records

Family history website Findmypast has digitised historic copies of parish registers from Cambridgeshire and Buckinghamshire.

The new Cambridgeshire collection consists of parish registers of Orwell, 1560-1837 and of St Michael's, Cambridge, 1538-1837, containing over 350 records altogether.

The records from Buckinghamshire are the parish registers of Great Hampden, 1557-1812 and of Stewkeley, 1545-1653, containing over 600 names.

Findmypast also digitised Clement Shorter's 1910 book Highways & Byways in Buckinghamshire.


Ancestry updates Liverpool church records

Ancestry has added 466,000 records to its collections of Church of England and Catholic parish records from Liverpool.

The records, digitised and transcribed from the archives of Liverpool City Council, include baptisms, confirmations, banns, marriages and burials.

The earliest date back to 1659 and the latest cover 1975.


Wiener Library appeals for Kristallnacht documents

The Wiener Library is seeking donations and loans of original personal document collections from Jewish survivors and witnesses to Kristallnacht in Nazi Germany for a new exhibition.

Kristallnacht was a notorious series of murders, assaults and arrests of Jewish people in Germany, as well as attacks on their homes, businesses, schools, synagogues and hospitals, carried out by SA paramilitary forces and German civilians on 9 and 10 November 1938.

The Wiener Library, the UK's leading archive on the Holocaust and Nazi era, is planning a major exhibition this autumn to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the attacks.

Please contact Christine Schmidt ( or Barbara Warnock ( for further information.


TheGenealogist releases new poll books

TheGenealogist has added a further 116,218 transcriptions and images to its poll book database.

The new records date from 1705 to the 1830s and include 18 different registers from constituencies situated in Abingdon, Bristol, Hampshire, Somerset, Suffolk, Maidstone, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Worcestershire and York.

The poll books, transcribed by volunteers on UKIndexer, list individuals who were qualified to vote at the time and can be used as a substitute for censuses.

They are also available on Ancestry.


RootsIreland adds County Waterford records

Waterford Heritage has added over 12,000 records to its database on family history website RootsIreland.

The new collection consists of 11,772 Church of Ireland marriage records and 1,126 Roman Catholic baptism records from the parishes of Tramore and Carbally.

RootsIreland, operated by the Irish Family History Foundation, has over 20 million records in databases from 34 county genealogy centres.


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