Newsletter - 7 June 2010

 

 

 

 

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things

A new opportunity to find cousins

Save money with this great pre-launch offer

Ireland 1901 now online - and it's free!

Less than 300 days to the 2011 Census

Half a million Army pensioners' records online

Getting copies of register entries

Finding records in the London area

Where were Londoners buried?

National Trust supporters get Ancestry discount

Free 24-hour access to findmypast Australia

Where there's a will there's often a way

Tales of yore

Peter's tips

Stop Press

 

If you are looking for the Census Special newsletter dated 16 June please click here.

 

About this newsletter

The LostCousins newsletter is published twice a month on average, and all LostCousins members are notified by email when a new edition is available (unless they opt out). To access the previous newsletter (dated 21 May 2010) please click here. Each newsletter links to the one before, and you can go back to February 2009 when the newsletter first went online; in due course there will be an online index to articles.

 

Whenever possible links are included to the websites mentioned in the newsletter (they are highlighted in blue or purple and underlined, so you can't miss them). Note: when you click on a link a new browser window or tab will open so that you donít lose your place in the newsletter.

 

Although the newsletters are hosted at LostCousins, they are not part of the main website. Click here to go to the main website and search for your living relatives.

 

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things

Last week when I gave a tribute at the memorial service for my Aunt Hala, who would have been 94 in September, I spoke about the things she did which to her seemed ordinary, but which for the people they helped and influenced were quite extraordinary.

 

After I returned home I came across an obituary for Miep Gies, who died in January at the age of 100. She too was an ordinary person who did extraordinary things: sheltering Otto Frank and his family between 1942 and 1944, and - after they were arrested - rescuing the diary that his daughter Anne had written during their 25 months in hiding.

 

A new opportunity to find cousins

Great news! LostCousins members now have a new way to search for living relatives - using the 1911 England & Wales census. Although for now this opportunity is restricted to existing members, we will be opening it up to new members in the near future.

 

Over the past month 1500 of our most-experienced members have been taking part in a pilot project, and thanks to their phenomenal efforts there's a good chance of finding new relatives almost immediately. (I have already found a whole new branch of my own family in New Zealand - one that I had no reason to suspect existed, even though the lady I'm now in touch with is my father's 2nd cousin.)

 

Entering relatives from the 1911 Census is easier than for other censuses, because there are only two references that we need to know, the piece number (which is prefixed RG14PN) and the schedule number (prefixed SN). These are the first and the last of the references, which makes them really easy to identify.

 

For example, if the census references shown are:

 

RG14PN9571 RG78PN510A RD188 SD6 ED15 SN377

 

then you would to enter 9571 as the Piece Number, and 377 as the Schedule Number (please do NOT enter the prefixes). The other references aren't required, but I would recommend that if your relative was in a large institution or barracks you record the Enumeration District in the Notes box, as large institutions are generally covered by just one Schedule Number (typically 1 or 9999).

 

Because the 1911 Census schedules were digitised directly, rather than being microfilmed and then digitised at a later date, the references aren't shown as part of the census image (though they are displayed above the image). That's why when I wrote about the census earlier this year I suggested that you include the references as part of the file name when you save the image (see the article mentioned below for an example).

 

IMPORTANT: for the 1911 Census please correct any transcriptions errors as you make your entries, in other words enter what the head of household actually wrote, not what the transcriber thought he wrote.

 

However, if you want to include any information not shown on the census form do this ONLY in the optional part of the form for corrections and additional information. In other words, if your ancestor's name is transcribed as 'John P Smith' but you know that he actually wrote 'John Psmith' then that's how you should enter him. However if he had a middle name that isn't shown on the census form, don't enter it - other than in the optional section of the form. Similarly, if he spelled his wife's name incorrectly (as one of my great-great uncles did!) please show what he actually wrote, not what he should have written.

 

You'll find a compilation of the articles I've written about the 1911 Census in my newsletter on the Help & Advice page at the LostCousins site: Mastering the 1911 Census of England & Wales

 

Even if you read the articles when they came out, it's worth taking another look as there may be information that did not seem relevant at the time. If you have still have any questions after reading the article I'll do my best to answer them.

 

Save money with this great pre-launch offer

For a limited time you can save 10% on any findmypast subscription which gives unlimited* access to the 1911 Census AND get a free one-year LostCousins subscription worth up to £12.50.

 

Simply follow these three steps: first, click here to go to the findmypast site (that way, when you subscribe we'll get a small commission that will help support the LostCousins site); second, choose your findmypast subscription (12 month subscriptions are the best value) and enter the offer code JUNEDISCOUNT (as one word, ie no spaces); third, send me a copy of the confirmation email you get from findmypast so that I can verify your entitlement. I'll then upgrade your account and also that of your spouse or partner (please quote the email address if it is different from your own).

 

This offer ends on June 20th and cannot be used in conjunction with the 20% loyalty discount for renewals, or with a free trial. To qualify for a free LostCousins subscription you must click on the link above, or on the findmypast advert in this newsletter, immediately BEFORE taking out your subscription.

 

* fair-usage provisions apply - see here

 

 

Ireland 1901 now online - and it's free!

You can now search both the 1901 and 1911 Censuses of Ireland at the National Archives of Ireland website. The 1911 Census is the one that we are using to find 'lost cousins' - see my article Using the 1911 Census of Ireland on the Help & Advice page for an illustrated guide.

 

A useful tip if you're having trouble finding relatives in the Irish censuses is to swap the names around. LostCousins member Rosemary discovered that some of her relatives were recorded with the forename and surname interchanged, and a quick check revealed 814 people with surname Mary in the 1911 Census!

 

Less than 300 days to the 2011 Census

The United Kingdom 2011 census will be carried on Sunday 27th March 2011, and for the very first time respondents in England & Wales will have the opportunity to complete the census form online (although all parts of the UK are being surveyed on the same date, the censuses for Scotland and Northern Ireland will be carried out independently).

 

You can find out more about the official plans for the 2011 Census here, but what I'm going to focus on in this article is something that the Government probably hasn't thought of (and possibly wouldn't approve of). We all know how valuable it has been to find out about our ancestors and other relatives on the 1841-1911 Censuses - and how frustrating it is that we will have to wait until later censuses are 100 years old before we can discover what they say. "We can confirm that the personal census data is to be kept confidential for 100 years", a spokesman from the Office of National Statistics told Who Do You Think You Are? magazine recently.

 

Imagine that we could keep a copy of our census form and store the information securely until a date of our choosing, not a date arbitrarily set by Parliament - wouldn't that be a wonderful gift for the genealogists of the future? We might even go further, and add information that isn't asked on the census form, but which is important to us, and which we'd like our descendants and their cousins to know.

 

Is this something that you'd personally be interested in? If there are sufficient members who think it could be a good idea, I'll take a closer look at how it might work.

 

Half a million Army pensioners' records online

From a quarter of a million records in March, to half a million today - the database of Army pensioners' service records at findmypast has doubled in size, and it now covers the entire period from 1855-1900. I made some interesting discoveries in the original release, which covered the period from 1883-1900, and I look forward to making further discoveries in the enlarged database.

 

Getting copies of register entries

A few months ago I explained how inexpensive it was to obtain copies of original register entries from FamilySearch. You'll a little more information about how to do this in the Research Wiki at the Family Search site.

 

Something I should have mentioned in my earlier articles is that before placing your order it's important to check that the source of the data is the register itself, and not a transcription (eg Bishops's Transcript) or some other secondary record. For example, if the notes state "Form submitted by a member of the LDS Church" or "Record submitted after 1991 by a member of the LDS Church" there is no point requesting a printout.

 

Finding records in the London area

AIM25 is a major project that provides information about the archive collections held by over one hundred organisations within the Greater London area (ie within the M25). It's hard to describe how broad the coverage is - but if you have family connections with London or the surrounding area it's worth visiting the website.

 

Where were Londoners buried?

Most of my relatives lived in London during the 19th century, but I've had enormous difficulty discovering where they were buried - because by the middle of the century most churchyards were full. During my research I came across the London Burial Grounds website which explains what happened next - and also attempts to track down the burial grounds that have survived.

 

However I did recently discover the burial place of one of my great-great-great grandparents - thanks to the new London Non-Conformist Registers database at Ancestry (starting from the home page click on 'View all new records').

 

National Trust supporters get Ancestry discount

Are you a National Trust member? The National Trust, which works to preserve the buildings, countryside, and coastline of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland is offering supporters a 25% discount on Ancestry subscriptions. Members of the National Trust already get free entry and parking at more than 300 historic houses and gardens plus free access to properties of the National of Scotland; click here to find out more.

 

Free 24-hour access to findmypast Australia

It's currently possible to get a free 24-hour trial at findmypast.com.au and you don't even have to provide your credit card details. The site is very different from the UK site, so it's good to have this risk-free opportunity to discover what it does - and doesn't - have to offer.

 

Where there's a will there's often a way

You may recall that in the last newsletter I mentionedhow I'd discovered the wills of my great-great-great-great grandparents in the Diocese of London Consistory Court Wills index at the London Metropolitan Archives website. As soon as I'd finished writing the newsletter I dashed off to the LMA to get copies of the wills, and was absolutely delighted by what I found! Armed with the information in their wills, and the will of their son-in-law, I was able to confirm a number of hypotheses and also solve a riddle that had been nagging at me for ages.

 

This index was one of many listed at the Your Archives site; another extremely useful list of indexes has been compiled by LostCousins member Andrew Millard, and can be found here.

 

Tales of yore

No matter what historical event I write about in the newsletter, there always seems to be a LostCousins member with a personal connection!

 

In the last newsletter I mentioned the last London tram, which rain in 1952. Shortly afterwards I received an email from Jo, who had tickets from that final tram, which I retrospectively added to the newsletter. But then I heard from Sue, who told me that not only was her great-uncle Albert Fuller the driver of the last tram, but also that Sue's family still have the last tram ticket ever to be issued in London.

 

If you look closely you'll see that Uncle Albert wrote his name and badge number on the back, as well as dating the ticket. What a wonderful piece of history!

 

Also in the last issue I wrote - in a somewhat jocular fashion - about the 1970 hit record I'm a Neanderthal Man, which was made by a long-forgotten group called Hotlegs (though they were considerably more successful once they changed their name to 10cc). It turns out that LostCousins member Gerald, who at the time worked in the radio and hi-fi shop owned by Kevin Godley's father, made a small but significant contribution to the unusual sound using his audio generator. If you have a copy of the song listen for the low frequency tone that starts after 1 minute and 59 seconds, and gradually rises in pitch over the next 12 seconds.

 

Peter's tips

While I was hunting for a copy of I'm a Neanderthal Man, so that I could hear Gerald's handiwork, I discovered that Amazon.co.uk are giving away £2 worth of MP3 music when you spend £10 on other items.

 

Although we tend to think of MP3 downloads as being for youngsters, it's often the easiest way (and sometimes the only legal way) to get hold of copies of old recordings. For example, you can get Vera Lynn singing We'll Meet Again for 89p, and several different versions of Henry Hall playing Teddy Bears' Picnic from 69p upwards. On a more serious note, you can also get dozens of Winston Churchill's speeches in MP3 format for 79p each, and for the same price you can have the first words ever recorded on a phonograph (by Thomas Edison).

 

Click here for full details of the Amazon offer - which runs until June 20th.

 

Stop Press

This is where any late updates will be added.

 

That's all for now - I hope you've found some of the articles relevant to you and your family tree.

 

If you want to show your appreciation then the best way of doing this would be to add an extra couple of households to your My Ancestors page (it only takes 1 or 2 minutes per household). Much as I enjoy receiving complimentary emails, the true measure of my success is the number of 'lost cousins' who make contact, and of course it's the data you provide that allows me to match you with your living relatives.

 

peter_signature

 

Peter Calver

Founder, LostCousins

 

Copyright 2010 by Peter Calver & Lost Cousins Ltd except as otherwise stated