Genealogy news roundup: WDYTYA? to return on 17 August

By Rosemary Collins, 4 August 2017 - 11:01am

Plus: Protests over ‘dangerous precedent’ of access charges at Northamptonshire Archives; Fold3 adds 1918-1940 RAF records; Dorset and Birmingham archives receive digitisation grants

The series will return on Thursday 17 August, featuring Scottish pop icon Lulu

Fans of Who Do You Think You Are? will be relieved to know that the series’ hiatus will only last a week.

Over the closing credits of last night’s episode, starring Emma Willis, the announcer informed viewers that the family history show will take a break next week for coverage of the World Athletics Championships.

However, it will then return on Thursday 17 August with an episode following Scottish-born singer Lulu as she traces her family history.

The rest of the series will feature Fearne Cotton, Noel Clarke, Lisa Hammond and Ruby Wax.

Protests over ‘dangerous precedent’ of access charges at Northamptonshire Archives 

Northamptonshire Archives has announced plans to cut free visiting hours and charge £31.50 for access at other times.

Northamptonshire Archives and Heritage Service announced on its Facebook page last week that from 21 August, the archives will only be free to access from 9am-1pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and 9am-4pm on the first Saturday of the month from April to October.

However, researchers can book appointments to view the archives for a fee of £31.50 an hour on 10am-1pm and 2pm-4pm on Monday and Friday and 2pm-4pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

The decision has prompted concern among many family historians and other researchers, leading to an online petition to the council that has already received 2,108 signatures.


Fold3 adds 1918-1940 RAF records

Over 600,000 records of the earliest RAF personnel are now available to search on military records site Fold3.

The new collection of 616,118 airmen records dates from 1918, when the Royal Air Force was founded after the uniting of the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS), to 1940.

Fold3 is owned by Ancestry, with users able to access it via a unique subscription or Ancestry All Access membership.

The records include details such as the airmen’s names, ages, dates and places of birth, service numbers and names of parents and spouses. Some of them are already available on Findmypast.

Dorset and Birmingham archives receive digitisation grants

This year’s winners of £7,000 grants to preserve key archives through digitisation have been announced.

The winner of the primary £5,000 grant from company TownsWeb Archiving is Dorset History Centre, which will use the money to digitise the Herbert Collection of over 7,000 packets of photographic negatives showing Weymouth between 1953 and 1983.

The original negatives are currently decaying due to an irreversible condition called vinegar syndrome, so digitisation is vital to preserve the photographs and make them available to the public.

The secondary grant of £2,000 went to Birmingham Museums Trust, which will use the money to digitise and data capture archives relating to Birmingham’s history of trade and manufacturing.

1775 Dublin directory available online 

A directory of Dublin life in 1775 is now available to search on the Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) website.

IGRS has created a database index of Wilson’s Dublin Directory, from the 1775 Triple Almanac. A limited version of the database is available for free and IGRS members can access the whole thing.

The database contains 3,676 records, listing a wide range of tradesmen including barristers, attorneys, medical practitioners and merchants.

Notably, the almanac lists a number of barristers who qualified in Ireland but subsequently emigrated to the New World, such as Thomas Knox Gordon, chief justice of North Carolina, and Jonathan Belcher, chief justice of Nova Scotia.

Philadelphia Catholic records available on Findmypast 

Family history website Findmypast has added records of Catholic baptisms and marriages in the American city of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania.

Transcriptions and images of over 556,000 baptism records, 278,000 marriage records and 65,000 parish registers are now available to search.

Pennsylvania was an early refuge for Catholics because William Penn, the state's founder, believed in religious tolerance. Mass was celebrated publicly there as early as 1707 and it was formed as a diocese in 1808.

In addition, the family history website has created a new collection of over 127,000 Staffordshire monumental inscriptions and added 90,437 burial records from Lincolnshire and 2,406 from Monmouthshire and 4,717 Yorkshire memorial inscriptions.

MyHeritage acquires Legacy Family Tree 

Family history and DNA testing company MyHeritage has announced the acquisition of Millennia Corporation, makers of the Legacy Family Tree genealogy desktop software and webinars.

MyHeritage said it would work with Millennia to release a new version of the software, Legacy Family Tree 10, which will include the optional capability to sync family trees to the MyHeritage website and mobile phone app.

However, MyHeritage will continue to develop its Family Tree Builder software separately, without merging it with Legacy Family Tree.

MyHeritage also announced that it was offering members a 50% discount on annual Legacy Family Tree webinars membership until 13 August.

1921 directories available on TheGenealogist

Personal and professional directories across Britain in 1921 are now available to search on TheGenealogist.

The new collection includes transcriptions and images of 23 county directories, giving information such as the name and address of each head of a household.

The directories cover areas including London, Aberdeen, Cheshire and Bristol, and TheGenealogist plans to add more counties later in the year.

Among the notable individuals found in the records are children’s authors AA Milne and JM Barrie, economist John Maynard Keynes, and entrepreneurs Jesse Boot and Harry Gordon Selfridge.

Protests over ‘dangerous precedent’ of access charges at Northamptonshire Archives
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Northamptonshire Archives revises plans to cut opening hours
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Protests over ‘dangerous precedent’ of access charges at Northamptonshire Archives
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Northamptonshire Archives revises plans to cut opening hours
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