Family History 4 All
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Newsletter No.11 – August 2007.
Join Genes Reunited - the UK’s no.1 family tree and genealogy site
1. Our welcome message.
2. Featured Article – How the Census started and why it's a great resource for the family historian
3. Help wanted - Need any help?
4. Latest news from www.Ancestry.co.uk
5. Next month’s article.
I hope this message finds you all in good health. If you have an article or amusing story to share with us then please don’t be afraid to send it for publication…you can remain anonymous if you prefer but we want you all to feel you can contribute if you want to. Just send an email with the words ‘Newsletter item’ in the subject box. And we will include it at the first opportunity, subject to editing, if necessary of course.
Due to some technical difficulties (mainly links not working properly), we have decided that future newsletters will be 'Online only'. We hope this does not spoil your enjoyment of our newsletter.
Here's the link to the archives so you can refer to previous issues:
2. How the Census started...
Does history repeat itself?
The census proves that it does! The first modern census of 1801 was called amidst fears that Britain's growing population would outstrip the country's supply of food - and 200 years later countryside and food are as topical as ever.
Over the centuries there have been many attempts to gather information on what crops are being grown and animals raised. This information is important for different reasons at different times as you will find out………..
1066 William the Conqueror defeats King Harold at the Battle of Hastings …….. some years later, King Canute of Denmark and King Olaf of Norway are threatening to invade England, William decides to try and stop them by offering money which he intends to get by taxing his subjects. To find out how much tax he could expect to raise he conducted a survey.
1085 The 'Doomsday Survey' was undertaken, it was a huge task which took two years to complete and listed details of land and livestock held by the king and his tenants. It included probably the first agricultural census undertaken in this country, although livestock figures have only survived for a few counties. It is possible that William intended his survey to be the first of many, but he died soon after. Nothing is done to collect agricultural data for a very long time………. until:
1792 Wheat is used to produce bread and so provided the basis of most people's diet. In 1792 production of wheat was not meeting demand and Britain was relying on imports. When France declared war in 1793 Britain found itself in danger of famine. The following year a poor harvest caused food prices to rocket. People were so angry that so called "bread" riots broke out in several parts of the country. The King's coach was attacked by an angry mob and the windows of 10 Downing Street were smashed.
1801 The first population census takes place. Between 1795 - 1803 Clergymen were given the job of collecting acreages of crops being grown in their local area - many did not want to do this though, so although information began to be collected over the next few years it varied a lot from county to county.
1844 Over the next few years agricultural questionnaires were carried out but while they were successful in Scotland and Ireland, England did not produce a good response.
1864 Parliament agreed to the collection and publication of the agricultural statistics of Great Britain and in 1865 voted £10,000 to cover the cost.
1866 A questionnaire was sent by post to farmers and collected by officers of the Inland Revenue. The first census took place on the 25th of June 1866 and was the first to cover Great Britain although some farms, particularly in the South and Eastern counties of England refused to take part. Estimates were made for these areas. It took 10 years for the response rate to reach a satisfactory level.
1939 Start of the Second World War. The census continues during the war years providing the government with essential information about the amount of food being produced. Quarterly returns were started in December 1939 mainly to obtain livestock numbers. It also shows changes in agriculture which were direct results of the war.
1973 The UK joins the European Union. Census data is supplied to the Union to assist with forward policy planning.
2000 From 1995, to cut down on paperwork for farmers, not all holdings receive a census form. In June 2000 however a census of all agricultural holdings takes place. The data gathered is published on the Internet and also used to answer questions from a huge cross section of customers including ministers, students and members of the farming industry. The agricultural census continues to provide valuable information on the types and areas of crops being grown, animals reared and the numbers of people working in agriculture.
There have been great changes in the census itself over the last two centuries - from, at times controversial questions on the forms, to the methods of collecting, storing, processing and assessing the information.
The census is rich in history - both in the questions and the answers. They reveal the changes that have taken place during what is regarded as the biggest upheaval of the population in Britain's history.
200 Years of the Modern Census:
HISTORY OF CENSUS TAKING
In the event the
Census went ahead successfully.
There was much discussion in 1991 about
the impact of the Poll Tax on the Census
return. In the end an estimated 98% of
the population in England and Wales
Whilst censuses such as the Domesday
Book were originally carried out for
military and taxation purposes, they now
provide the detailed information needed
to distribute funds between different parts
of the country. Through the 19th and 20th
centuries more information has been
collected about the characteristics of the
population such as age, marital status,
economic activity, health and housing. The
Countless thousands of researchers use the various census records simply to harvest names to fill in the blanks in their family trees.
You can glean much more information to help you paint a picture of what life was like for your family in years gone by.
You can 'follow' the population in it's 'tour' of Britain, desperately seeking employment in order to feed their families. At the same time you can learn much about how industries such as farming - once the countries largest employer of labour - drastically reduced it's workforce. Mainly due to the invention of larger and more economical means of producing crops, forcing whole small towns and villages to seek alternative employment.
The next time you use the census, look a little deeper. You'll be surprised what you could find. Happy hunting!
3. Help wanted
I am wondering if anyone can help me with my "Brick Wall"
James Ashwood born c.1836 in Campsall, Yorkshire, he married Harriet Taylor and they had seven children, the sixth being my great grandfather Joseph. Any info of the Ashwood or Taylor families would be greatly appreciated.
Thanking you in advance
Our Chief researcher Carol (My Wife!) replied to Lynette's request within minutes:
Thank you for your enquiry to familyhistory4all.co.uk
I have passed your query to my wife Carol who is our main researcher. Here is her reply:
I am Carol the wife of Jim who you contacted regarding your brick wall. I have found a James Ashwood baptised at Campsall in November 1834 which is most probably your James.
The entry I found gives his baptism as 16 Nov 1834. His mother is Mary Ashwood. I also found the baptism of Mary Ashwood at Campsall 13 Feb 1813. Her parents are Robert Ashwood and Ann. Also there is the baptism of Anne Ashwood 9 Apr 1815 to Robert Ashwood and Anne.
I found this information on the Hugh Wallis site which lists baptisms and marriages taken from parish registers that are on the IGI. This site is very good if you know the parish and the link to it is:
When you get the home page up you need to click on the country and it will bring a page up for the county. Click on the county and it will bring up the alphabet. You need to click on C and then scroll the page to Campsall. It will tell you the years that are available and when you click on the years you want it brings a box up and all you have to type in is the surname you want and it will bring all of that name up in the years. If you have any problems just let me know.
I have not checked for Taylors but you might find them on this site. If not let me know and I will try to check them out when I am able to go to the research room.
Hope this is of help to you.
And Lynette's reply:
Hi Carol & Jim,
Just read your email - unreal, I'm wrapt thank you so much for your help. I am going to check out the Hugh Wallis site later today/tonight. You have given me a much needed boost with my searching. I will let you know how I get on.
Again Thank you very much.
If anyone has further information to help Lynette, then write to us here and we'll pass on your message.
If you have a brick wall, send us the details, if we can help we will! and if we can't I'm sure we have a reader who can. Send those requests now!
4. Latest news from Ancestry: www.Ancestry.co.uk
WORLD WAR ONE BRITISH ARMY PENSION RECORDS LAUNCH ONLINE
Online launch coincides with 90th anniversary of Passchaendale
The pension records of almost one million soldiers who fought in World War One are now available online as www.Ancestry.co.uk completes its British Army World War One Pension Records collection to coincide with the 90th anniversary of the historic Passchaendale campaign.
The collection, which spans 1914 to 1920, lists the names of many soldiers discharged due to injuries or illness sustained during or following service in World War One. The originals are held by The National Archives.
Visitors to www.Ancestry.co.uk will now be able to search the collection to discover key information including physical description, regimental number, service history, locations served, date and place of birth, former occupation, next of kin, promotions, and also the medical information relating to the disability for which a pension was granted.
For each soldier listed there are on average 10 pages which comprise their unique set of records, making this an exceptionally ‘image rich’ historical collection.
The completion of this online collection coincides with the 90th anniversary of Passchaendale, one of the most violent battles of World War One. Beginning on 31 July 1917, the battle, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres, was fought for control of the village of Passchaendale (now called Passendale) in West Flanders, Belgium. The village was not captured until the following September, with more than 310,000 lives claimed.
Many of the the servicemen who were injured during the campaign and survived are listed in the collection. (further information and images are available on request).
Sergeant William Booth MM from Sussex joined the 11th Battalion Sussex Regiment aged just 19. Although he didn’t see active service overseas until 1916, he was wounded several times over the course of the war – the first just a month after arriving in France. William’s battalion took part in operations on the first day of Passchaendale, where he was one of the regiment’s 150 ranks casualties, sustaining multiple shrapnel wounds to the legs, arms and face. He was evacuated back to England never to return to France.
Corporal Alfred Lee MM from Kempsey in Worcestershire joined the army in April 1916 and went to France in September of that year as part of the Royal Tank Corps, then in its early stages of development. He was awarded the military medal for his service at Passchaendale, and later that year was wounded in the Battle of Cambrai. Despite recovering from these wounds he returned to his unit, only to be wounded again on 22 December 1917 and evacuated to England, where he saw out the remainder of the war.
Former fishmonger’s assistant Sergeant Thomas Berry DCM joined the Rifle’s Brigade aged 19, before the outbreak of war. He went to France in summer 1914 and stayed with the company for the duration of his service, including operations at Passchaendale. Here he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for taking charge of his platoon when his Sergeant was killed, engaging enemy snipers and driving off an attempted bombing attack. But nine months later, in May 1918, Berry was gassed and returned to England. He was declared medically unfit for further service in 1925.
www.Ancestry.co.uk Managing Director Simon Harper comments; “The completed British Army World War One Pension Records provide vital information on this brave group of men and are an important resource for anyone interested in researching virtually any soldier who sustained illness or injuries whilst serving in the First World War.
“The records paint a rich account of the more-often-than-not horrific experiences that many British soldiers suffered and are a stark reminder of how important it is for us not to forget those who fought for our country.”
The complete British Army World War One pension records can be viewed at www.Ancestry.co.uk
The National Archives’ head of business development, Dan Jones, said: “These First World War pension records are particularly popular but up to now you had to come to The National Archives to see them. It is great that this next stage of the digitisation – which will allow worldwide access to this important collection – has now been completed. The National Archives is committed to making more of the records it holds available to everyone, wherever they live, and working with commercial partners, such as Ancestry.co.uk, helps us to do this.”
5. Next Months main Article: Tracing wills - don't miss it!
That’s all for this month folks…see you soon.
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Or: jimATfamilyhistory4all.co.uk - replacing AT with @ of course.
Jim Ackroyd. Address: 12 Avondale Road. Doncaster. UK. DN2 6DE
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