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Newsletter No. 22 - September 2008.

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1. Our welcome message.

2. Featured Article – Finding Missing Relations and Living Relatives in Britain

by Tony Fitzgerald, Professional Genealogist

3. Latest news from www.Ancestry.co.uk Join or get a free trial here.

4. Next month’s article.

 

1. Hi all,

A question on many family historians lips at the moment is:

"Will the1911 Census be released early?"

My understanding about the 1911 UK Census:

You can now obtain 1911 Census information on your ancestors from The National Archives (TNA) provided you know their address. And, from 2009, a fully-indexed 1911 Census will be online, three years earlier than family historians expected.

The catch is that each address search made before the census goes online in 2009 will cost £45 (with no refunds) while 5% of this census is too badly water-damaged to be legible, and at least one whole piece number is said to be missing.

TNA claims that data protection legislation still means that some 'sensitive' personal information in the 1911 census cannot be released until 3rd January 2012 - this is apparently information on mental and physical disabilities. So even if the fully-indexed online service goes ahead in 2009, you would still have to wait until 2012 to find out if your ancestors were disabled or incapacitated in some way.

So what about the 1921 Census - will this be released early? I'm afraid NOT! This census is held by the Office for National Statistics. It remains government policy that the 1921 and subsequent censuses be closed for 100 years. The 1921 Census was conducted under the 1920 Census Act, which is still in force and contains a statutory prohibition on early disclosure.

More information can be found here: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/1911census/

Thanks to everyone that sent me 'Get Well' wishes. Thankfully I'm now fully fit. My grand daughter arrived during the last week of August - Mum & baby are both doing fine (She's very beautiful...Must have plenty of her grandfathers genes :-)

Catch you next month...enjoy the main article:


2. Featured Article – Finding Missing Relations and Living Relatives in Britain by Tony Fitzgerald, Professional Genealogist

Nothing can possibly be more exciting or emotionally charged than finding a close relative through research - the closer it is, the greater the excitement and emotion.

People who were Adopted or fostered out as children or, for any one of a number of reasons, became separated from their own families are foremost amongst those seeking a 'reunion' with family they may or may not have ever known. In recent times the so-called "War Orphan" scheme has been in the headlines. This was a scheme whereby underprivileged children were removed from their family environments during and after the Second World War and sent to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other Countries which were, at the time, British Colonies. Tales have been related of these young people being told that their parents had died or been killed when, in fact, this was not the case at all.

On other occasions, the quest may be for a close relative with whom contact has been lost many years before - perhaps through emigration. Or, you may want to find and contact second cousins - that is grandchildren of your own grandparent's siblings. The emotions are not so great but just imagine the stories they might well have which will add to your understanding of those now long-departed family members. Not to mention finding one of them with a Family Bible.

And beyond that, you can easily 'stumble' over more distant cousins through Internet contact or by writing to somebody whose name appears in the Genealogical Research Directory as having an interest in the same family as yourself. As for second or more distant cousins, no more need be said than what is contained in this one paragraph although what follows about closer relations is just as valid in terms of how to go about the tracing process.

In all these cases, the long-held desire to be reunited with close family or more distant cousins - or even to be able to make contact with half brothers and sisters - reaches a climax with a decision being made to "do something about it". But what? How do you, with so little if any research experience or knowledge, actually start?

Strangely enough, most people seem to think of the search for a close relation as being such a huge and forbidding one. Yet, if approached systematically and with care, results can come in hours. The methodology following below relates to researching in Britain - whether or not it can be done with equal ease in other Countries depends entirely on the information available on Birth, Marriage, Death and Probate indexes and the accessibility of these. If the information on these is less detailed than in Britain, the very worst that can happen is that you may have to buy more certificates. However, the certificates may be far more meaningful than their British counterparts because of the amount of additional information they contain.

The secret to researching through the indexes for England and Wales lies in these simple facts: From 1 July 1911, birth indexes show the mother's maiden name From 1 January 1912, marriage indexes show the spouse's surname - because the index reference for the bride and groom are identical, it only takes a moment to discover the forenames of the spouse From 1 April 1969, death certificates show date and place of birth and, in the case of married women, their maiden names.

It does not require much imagination to see the potential value of this - you find the marriage and then look for the children of that marriage where the mother's maiden name corresponds with the marriage entry. Just as simple as that!

By now, you have probably worked out that if you have found a birth, the next step is come forward 20-25 years or so to find the marriage of that child. And so the process continues. It may not even be necessary to purchase a Certificate if the chain established by working through the indexes is so overwhelmingly strong (e.g. because of unusual surnames or forename combinations).

But the research may not necessarily just be by means of methodically following through marriages and births but searching for a death certificate in the hope that the informant might be a close relative or that the deceased person left a Will in which is stated the names and addresses of family members.

Almost there!

The final requirement is to search the Electoral Rolls and Telephone Directories to see if you have found your 'missing' person. In this wonderful age of Electronic media this can be done very rapidly by running a CD ROM upon which this information is stored. Hopefully, the list of names will not be too lengthy. If the person is found, it is far better, if possible, that telephone rather than written contact is made.

These people have not gone into hiding so they cannot be found; they are not missing people - they are live beings who will be absolutely thrilled that you care so much about finding them that you went to all these lengths. If the name does not appear on the CD, there could be any number of reasons why not - death, emigration, re-marriage or simply not registered to vote.

If often happens that the person cannot be found for one of these reasons. But there are just so many ways available to carry out the research by tracking down family members - either children, siblings, cousins etc.

It is my strongest recommendation that the actual contact work is left to those who have the years of experience of conducting the, often, very tricky and unpredictable discussions that take place. My London Agent is in this category - she specialises in adoption work - and has a superb track record in handling these situations.

Above all else, is the need to bear in mind that your birth parent may have subsequently married after your birth and kept his or her secret from the new family. The last thing you would want to do is cause pain to the ones who, in their own ways, are precious to you.

It is for these reasons that any research of this nature that I carry out is subject to the strict understanding that contact details will not be given except with the mutual consent of the people concerned. Yes - it does happen sometimes ... people do refuse consent to have their contact details passed on. Ours is not to reason why but to give the utmost respect to the person's desire for privacy.

I can carry out your search for you on a professional and sensitive basis from even the smallest scrap of information you may have.


Tony Fitzgerald is a professional genealogist based in New Zealand. If you require assistance, please contact him by email or visit his web page for additional information.


3. Latest news from www.Ancestry.co.uk Join or get a free trial here.

September Update:

Welcome

UK Record Collections

Royal Irish Constabulary
Demand from our members for Irish records is higher than ever and so this month the Royal Irish Constabulary enlistment records have been promoted. The collection contains more than 88,000 records of those enlisted as police in the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) from 1816 to 1921. Records include each officer’s name, year and country or county of birth or age upon enlistment, marital status and further comments such as details of death and emigration. In addition to Ireland, enlistees came from England, Scotland, Wales, and even the US and Australia. Famous names such as Sir Neville FF Chamberlain, credited as the inventor of snooker, and Charles Brew who founded the British Columbia Police, can be found in the collection. This collection is available to Premium and Worldwide Subscription members.

International News
(records available with a worldwide subscription on Ancestry.co.uk)

New South Wales Convict Death Register, Convict Ship Muster Rolls & Related Records

Continuing to expand the largest online collection of convict records, Ancestry.com.au has just launched the New South Wales Convict Death Register, Convict Ship Muster Rolls and Related Records. The Death Register collection includes records of convict deaths in the colony, and also of those who died during their passage to Australia, with references to the cause of death, and in some cases statements justifying the death penalty. It also contains financial information relating to the deceased as they often brought money with them to deposit in the Convict Banking System. The Muster Rolls collection contains ship muster lists of convicts being transported from England to New South Wales between 1790 and 1849 and is of vital importance to family history researchers wanting to determine where and when their ancestors came from. They also contain convicts’ date and place of trial and term of sentence, as well as lists of convicts to be employed in iron gangs.

Other News

Ancestry launches Chinese family history website – www.jiapu.cn
For many in China, which is home to one fifth of the world’s population and is also its biggest internet market, jiapu.cn will provide their first opportunity to access jiapu (family histories) online. They have been made available through an exclusive long-term partnership with the Shanghai Library, which holds the largest collection of Chinese family history records in the world. Jiapu.cn has been developed exclusively in the local language to allow users to search records and build family trees in Chinese, and is fully supported by a Beijing-based team. When complete, the collection will include 36 million pages and more than 181 million names contained in 181,600 volumes covering 22,700 Chinese family histories. The family history of the famous Chinese thinker and social philosopher Confucius is one the 1,450 family histories now online - 270 surnames were made available at launch. Confucius came from the Kong clan, for which records exist of members dating back to the 6th Century BC. The most recent printed jiapu featuring in this collection is from 1949 and the earliest from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644); most were printed in the late Qing Dynasty to the Republic of China Period (18th to 19th Centuries). Jiapu.cn’s collection includes most of the top modern-day 200 Chinese surnames.

New Director of International Content Partnerships
We are thrilled to announce the appointment of Dan Jones as Ancestry’s Director of International Content Partnerships. Dan will leave his role as the Head of Business Development with The National Archives to take up this position in early October. Drawing on his in-depth knowledge of the UK historical records market to expand the UK’s largest online family history collection and utilising his international expertise, Dan will support Ancestry’s work with archives, libraries and societies around the world to digitise and preserve their historical records.www.Ancestry.co.uk Join or get a free trial here.

Ancestral Tourism
Ancestry.co.uk in partnership with VisitBritain last year carried out research which indicated that around 120,000 Brits intended to take an ‘ancestral vacation’ over the summer, thus illustrating a booming new trend. To revisit the research and further promote interest in ancestral tourism, Ancestry.co.uk this month worked with BBC Sheffield, arranging for an Ancestry.co.uk member and his son to journey to their ancestral homeland, the Isle of Bute in Scotland, to bring their research to life in front of the cameras. The feature was shown on BBC2 on Look North with a follow up piece the next day on BBC Radio Sheffield, during which the member told the fascinating story of his family history research and how it led to retracing his ancestors’ steps to the Isle of Bute.

Who Do You Think You Are?
The popular series is back with a vast range of celebrities, researching their family past. This Wednesday continues with investigating the ancestors of Esther Rantzen.

The announced line-up is as follows:

Esther Rantzen (3 September 2008)
David Suchet (10 September 2008)
Ainsley Harriott (17 September 2008)
Jodie Kidd (24 September 2008)
Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen (1 October 2008)

Info'

The Tudor King of England - Henry VIII, who reigned between 1509 and 1547 had 6 wives. The common way of remembering their survival status is: Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived.

Catherine of Aragon - divorced 1533
Anne Boleyn - beheaded 1536
Jane Seymour - died 1537
Anne of Cleves - divorced 1540
Catherine Howard - beheaded 1542
Catherine Parr - survived

Quotable Stats:

• 800 million names
• Free access to the entire Births, Deaths and Marriages Index for England, Scotland and Wales, 1837 - 2004, 280 million names
• The complete collection of SEVEN currently available censuses for England, Scotland and Wales, 1841 – 1901, 195 million names
• London collection of the British phone books, 1880-1984, 280 million names
• U.S. passenger lists from 1820 - 1960, which contain the names of more than 10 million English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh passengers who emigrated during this period
• 2.5 million names from The British Army World War One Service and Pension Records, 1914-1920 (when complete)
• Ancestry.co.uk records originate from across the UK, the earliest dated from 1386

Regards,
Andrew Burch
Online Marketing Manager
www.Ancestry.co.uk Join or get a free trial here.


4. Next month’s article.

Distasteful Family Members In Our Family Tree By: Charity Hope

Excellent and very sensitive article - Don't miss it


That’s all for this month folks…I hope you enjoyed this months newsletter. And in case you forgot earlier - Please sign the  Guestbook. See you next month.

Jim. Editor

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 Jim Ackroyd. Address: 12 Avondale Road. Doncaster. UK. DN2 6DE

Take a look at our other web sites here: http://jamesackroyd.com

P.S. I hope you are not offended by the advertisements on this site. I get a small commission from some of them which helps towards the cost of my hosting and domain fees. Sometimes I make a little extra. In fact I've worked out that if the 'little extra' grows at around the same rate, I should be able to retire when I'm 129 years old :-) See you next month

 

 

 

 


 

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