Tuesday, September 30, 2014


A poet, a cricketer, an abolitionist and death by poisoned pudding: 400 years of Yorkshire parish records revealed online



Leading UK family history website findmypast.com has today, 30 September 2014, published online for the first time almost 4 million parish records in partnership with the Yorkshire Digitisation Consortium. The Yorkshire Collection comprises beautiful scanned images of the original handwritten registers held by six Yorkshire archives and spanning the years 1538 to 1989. Fully searchable transcripts of the originals enable anyone to go online and search for their Yorkshire ancestors by name.

The first phase of this landmark project, released today, includes nearly a million parish records from North Yorkshire County Record Office, Doncaster Archives and Local Studies, East Riding Archives and Local Studies Service, Teesside Archives and Sheffield Archives and Local Studies, as well as over 3 million parish records and Bishop’s Transcripts from the Borthwick Institute for Archives (University of York), which cover the whole of Yorkshire including West Yorkshire.

As the provenances of the records are defined by historical, rather than modern boundaries, areas now outside of today’s Yorkshire are also covered, such as County Durham. On completion this will be the most comprehensive online repository of Yorkshire family history records anywhere in the world.

Famous Yorkshire men found in the records

Covering a wide area and timeframe, many of Yorkshire’s most famous sons and daughters can be found in the records. Poet William Wordsworth married his childhood friend Mary Hutchinson in the parish of Brompton on 4 October 1802. The marriage register now online at Findmypast shows both their signatures.

Cricketer and founder of Lord’s Cricket Club Thomas Lord’s baptism on 29 December 1755 appears in the baptism register for Thirsk.

The baptism of abolitionist William Wilberforce, who was responsible for ending slavery in the British Empire, appears in the register for Holy Trinity Church in Kingston upon Hull on 21 September 1759.

Yorkshire’s social history revealed

Findmypast’s Yorkshire Collection also reveals fascinating details of the county’s social history. For example, the burial registers give evidence of the scale of the 1832 cholera epidemic, in which 55,000 people in the UK died, and also details of the deaths of soldiers in the 1645 Civil War.

A mention of the baptism of Thomas Pompey, a youth about 14 years of age and a native of Guinea in Africa, in the Harthill records of 1725 suggests that even back in the 18th century, Yorkshire was the kind of place visitors would want to stay.

Everyday tragedies are captured in the records. For example, over centuries when childbirth was dangerous and miscarriages common, there are instances of children’s first names being recorded as ‘Stillborn’ (Stillborn Sutton and Stillborn Bartendale in the Thorpe Bassett baptisms, for example).

Bizarre deaths and comedy names

These church records also provide some unexpected insights into events in Yorkshire’s colourful history. The parish burial register for Kirby Wiske records that on 7 July 1791, Richard Sturdy, John Cartman and Rich’d Sturdy were “poisoned by neglect of a servant girl in making a pudding”.

The burial register for Birkin records the death of Richard Darley, struck dead by lightning at the age of 25 on 5 June 1836, while the burial register for Thirsk includes Thomas Lee, son of a shoemaker, whose death on 27th May 1789 aged 13 appears alongside the explanation “Died with drinking Gin.”

A quick look through Findmypast’s Yorkshire Collection reveals some extraordinary names. Mary Christmas was buried in Hutton Cranswick in 1689, while Fortune Chimney was laid to rest in Hornsea St Nicholas in 1727. The marriage register of Bramham records the 1837 marriage of Robert Duck to Catherine Peacock.

Findmypast historian and writer Myko Clelland said ‘These records are full of fascinating details of Yorkshire life through the ages. We're utterly thrilled to be able to tell the stories of the inhabitants of ‘God's own county’ for the very first time online and to give family historians around the world the opportunity to discover their own family’s stories.”

Chris Webb of the Yorkshire Digitisation Consortium added “We are delighted that Findmypast have worked with the Yorkshire Digitisation Consortium in an innovative partnership to make these unique records for a uniquely important (and beautiful) part of the country available in this way. Every release of digital records is an event, but this one, covering about 10% of the English and Welsh historic population, really is important.”

All of these records can be explored at findmypast.com. Further records will be released in 2015.

About Findmypast

Findmypast has been a leading family history website for more than 10 years. It’s a searchable online archive of over 1.8 billion family history records, from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers and lots more. For our members around the world, Findmypast is a crucial resource for building family trees and doing detailed historical research.

In April 2003 the company was the first to provide access to the complete birth, marriage, and death indexes for England & Wales, winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation. Since that time, Findmypast has digitised family history records from across the globe, including major collections from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States. In partnership with the British Library, Findmypast is part of a project to safeguard the future of the world’s greatest newspaper archive – allowing digital access to more than 40 million newspaper pages. Recently, The National Archives awarded the company the exclusive rights to put the 1939 Register for England and Wales online.

About the Yorkshire Digitisation Consortium

The Yorkshire Digitisation Consortium is a partnership of local authorities which has pledged to make its parish records available online. It is made up of local authority and university archive services based in Beverley, Doncaster, Middlesbrough, Northallerton, Sheffield and York.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Genealogy Intensive™ - A New Offering in Genealogy Education

Lisa Alzo and Thomas MacEntee Create On-Line Collaborative Group Coaching Platform for Genealogy Skill Building

29 September 2014 – Chicago, IL. Hack Genealogy has created Genealogy Intensive™, a collaborative, results-driven, group coaching environment for effective genealogy education. In today’s article Genealogy Intensive™: Taking Your Genealogy Project From “Obsession” to “Reality” Hack Genealogy creator Thomas MacEntee outlines the concept and motivation behind this new offering.

“We've identified a need among genealogists when it comes to education. While webinars cover a variety of topics and provide solid information, most attendees file away the handout once the webinar is over and don’t take action when it comes to using the skills covered,” MacEntee notes. “With Genealogy Intensive™, participants work in a small group environment – online – and have actual assignments to put those new skills to use.”

Each Genealogy Intensive™ will follow a similar format:

  • Online Sessions via GoToMeeting: Meeting once a week for one (1) hour. Sessions will be recorded and you’ll always have access to the recordings. For Weeks #2 through #5, a “flipped lecture” format will be used: participants complete an assignment before the session and then the group will discuss the assignment and results.
  • Weekly Assignments: A series of work assignments relevant to the specific Genealogy Intensive™ topic. These assignments will not just inspire, but also help participants achieve their goals.
  • Closed Facebook Group: A closed online environment for Genealogy Intensive™ participants where assignments and feedback are shared and ideas/issues are discussed.
  • Personal Access to Coaches: Access to Coaches via Facebook and email as well as during the Online Sessions.
  • Project Tools: Basic templates and strategies for tracking projects.
  • Productivity Toolbox: Coaches will prepare a special toolkit filled with resources; during the six-weeks participants will add their own recommended tools and share their discoveries with the group.
  • Access to Archives: After the Genealogy Intensive™ is over, participants will continue to have access to the Online Session recordings, all handouts and assignments and the input/feedback on the Facebook Closed Group.

Participation is limited to 12 attendees and the cost to attend a Genealogy Intensive™ over a six week period is $129 per person. A special discounted price of $99 will be available during the early registration period.

The Write Stuff: Build Your Family History Writing Skills

Starting on Monday 13 October 2014 and running for six-weeks through Monday 17 November 2014, noted genealogy author Lisa A. Alzo will lead The Write Stuff with a focus on building family history writing skills.

  • Learn writing skills and techniques to produce a quality family history; build on the skills each week.
  • Focus on getting a working draft.
  • Receive constructive and helpful feedback.
  • Overcome fears and anxiety about writing.
  • Have fun!

Through on-line instructional sessions, weekly assignments, and collaboration with other participants, attendees will have access to an instructor with more than 23 years of writing experience, who will teach key nonfiction writing techniques used to produce a “can’t put down” family history that will keep the pages turning for generations. Click here for more information and the course schedule.

Get More Information about Genealogy Intensive™

Visit today’s announcement about the Genealogy Intensive™ here and get the details about The Write Stuff here.

The best way to stay in touch is to add the Hack Genealogy Blog to your RSS feed reader or save the link to your favorites. Also sign up for our periodical emails listing upcoming Genealogy Intensive™ courses as well as the latest tech news in the genealogy world! Click here to sign up now and you can unsubscribe at any time!

About Hack Genealogy

Hack Genealogy (http://hackgenealogy.com) is a technology resource for the genealogy community with a focus on “repurposing today's technology for tomorrow's genealogy.” Thomas MacEntee is the driving force between Hack Genealogy whose goal is to provide information on emerging technology inside and outside the genealogy industry.

Follow Hack Genealogy on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/HackGenealogy), Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/hackgenealogy) and at http://hackgenealogy.com.

Friday, September 26, 2014

BCG Offers a Free Day of Quality Genealogy Education October 11

Top genealogists Elissa Scalise Powell, Judy G. Russell, Elizabeth Shown Mills, and Stefani Evans will present six lectures at the Family History Library’s Floor B2 classroom in Salt Lake City Saturday, October 11, between 9 am and 4:45 pm. The lectures are free and open to the public, sponsored by the Board for Certification of Genealogists. The board is an independent certifying body and author of the updated 2014 Genealogy Standards.

Topics and speakers:

  • 9 – “BCG Certification Seminar,” Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL
  • 9:45 – “Shootout at the Rhododendron Lodge: Reconstructing Life-Changing Events,” Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL
  • 11 – “From the White Lion to the Emancipation Proclamation – Slavery and the Law before the Civil War,” Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL
  • 1:15 – “Using Evidence Creatively: Spotting Clues in Run-of-the-Mill Records,” Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA
  • 2:30 – “Oh, The Things You Can Map: Mapping Data, Memory, and Historical Context,” Stefani Evans, CG
  • 3:45 – “Trousers, Black Domestic, Tacks & Housekeeping Bills: Trivial Details Can Solve Research Problems,” Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA

“Whether you stop in for one lecture or all six, you will learn more about how to apply good methodology to your own family research,” said President Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL. “The Board for Certification of Genealogists strives to foster public confidence in genealogy by promoting an attainable, uniform standard of competence and ethics. Educating all family historians of every level is part of this mission.”

For questions or more information contact: Nicki Birch, CG, office@BCGcertification.org.

CG, Certified Genealogist, CGL, and Certified Genealogical Lecturer are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluations. The board name is a trademark registered in the US Patent and Trademark Office.

APG Shows Commitment to Next Generation with Young Professional Discount for 2015 Professional Management Conference

Build Your Career Skills at the Only Conference Aimed at Professional Genealogy

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo., 26 September 2014 −The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG®) today demonstrated its commitment to next-generation genealogists by offering young professionals a significant discount to APG’s Professional Management Conference (PMC). The Young Professional discount offers savings of 40 percent off the full price of the conference, with additional discounts for single days. The conference, themed “Professional-Grade Genealogy,” will be held the 8–9 January 2015 at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. Registration is now open for the 2015 PMC at www.apgen.org/conferences.

“APG knows the importance of attracting and mentoring new genealogists and professionals,” said APG President Kimberly Powell. “We have designed APG’s Professional Management Conference to appeal to professionals of all skill levels and are offering opportunities to help young professionals and students to meet each other, develop relationships with established professionals, enhance their research skills, and build their businesses. Eva Goodwin, the winner of APG’s 2014 Young Professional Scholarship, plans to be in attendance.”

PMC 2015 – A Must-Attend Event

The 2015 PMC is two full days and will feature 14 speakers teaching 16 sessions (including four hands-on workshops) on key topics for professional genealogists. These include DNA, time management, genealogical standards, citation writing, having difficult conversations, setting fees, adoption research, and professional writing and speaking. PMC is the only genealogical conference focused on providing professional genealogists with opportunities for networking, advanced education, and professional and business development.

New in 2015, PMC Poster Sessions offer exciting and unique networking opportunities by providing professional genealogists with an informal, interactive opportunity to showcase research, share work, and exchange ideas. PMC will also feature the annual APG member meeting and the APG reception, the latter to be held Friday night.

On Thursday, 8 January 2015, FamilySearch is helping pay for lunch—making the plated lunch only $10. David Rencher, Chief Genealogical Officer at FamilySearch, will present "Do Online Trees Have a Place in the Professional Genealogists’ Toolkit?"

Visit www.apgen.org/conferences for full conference details and to register for PMC 2015.

Register Now for PMC 2015

Young Professional pricing ends 15 November 2014. The Young Professional discount is available to APG members and non-members who are age 25 or younger. Attendees may choose to attend the full conference or a single day. Details on pricing and the conference sessions are available at www.apgen.org/conferences.

Speakers and Topics Will Include:
  • Thomas Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS—Three-part Workshop: You’ve Got Options: Many Ways to Cite Right
  • Angie Bush, MS—DNA and Genealogical Proof
  • CeCe Moore—Workshop: Genealogy Professionals Needed: How Adoptees Discover their Genealogical Roots
  • Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL—Finding the Law
  • Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL—(1) Workshop: Measuring Yourself against Standards: A Practical Guide for Improving Your Skills and (2) Get Paid for Your Passion: Setting Fees
  • Angela Packer McGhie—Time Management: Successfully Balancing the Demands of Our Many "Clients"
  • Kimberly Powell—Organizing Your Research and Writing with Scrivener
  • James M. Beidler—(1) Finding Your Niche: Matching Passion, Professionalism, and Pecuniary Interest and (2) Taxes and the Professional Genealogist
  • Anastasia Harman—Workshop: Professional Writing Foundations: 5 Ways to Improve Your Writing Today
  • Ron Arons, MBA—Mind Maps for Genealogy
  • Thomas MacEntee—Self-Publishing for Genealogists
  • Billie Stone Fogarty, MEd—So You Want to be a Genealogical Speaker
  • Christina Grover—How to Have Difficult conversations with Clients and Colleagues

About the Association of Professional Genealogists

The Association of Professional Genealogists, established in 1979, represents more than 2,700 genealogists, librarians, writers, editors, historians, instructors, booksellers, publishers, and others involved in genealogy-related businesses. APG encourages genealogical excellence, ethical practice, mentoring and education. The organization also supports the preservation and accessibility of records useful to the fields of genealogy and history. Its members represent all fifty states, Canada, and thirty other countries. APG is active on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.