Friday, 24 February 2017

Ulster Historical Foundation US lecture tour

The Ulster Historical Foundation (www.ancestry.com) is shortly about to commence its annual talks tour in the United States, which takes place March 3rd-22nd 2017.

Want to discover your Irish and Scots-Irish ancestors?

Join experts Fintan Mullan and Gillian Hunt from the Foundation during their annual USA lecture tour to learn how to get the most out of Irish resources and records, gain strategies for breaking down brick walls, and grasp important historical context that may help fill in gaps in your research.

Whether you are just beginning your Irish research or have been at it for years, you won’t want to miss these workshops!

Here's the itinerary:


Friday, 03 March - Phoenix, AZ
Host: The McClelland Library
Web: www.azirish.org/upcoming-ulster-historical-foundation

Saturday, 04 March - Phoenix, AZ
Host: The McClelland Library
Web: www.azirish.org/upcoming-ulster-historical-foundation

Sunday, 05 March - Tacoma, WA
Host: Lakewood and South Hill Libraries
Web: www.piercecountylibrary.org/calendar.aspx?id=281

Tuesday, 07 March - Nashville, TN
Host: Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage
Web: www.thehermitage.com/event/exploring-your-scotsirish-genealogy

Thursday, 09 March - Michigan City, IN
Host: Michigan City Public Library
Web: www.mclib.org

Saturday, 11 March - Bentonville, AR
Host: Northwest Arkansas Genealogical Society
Web: www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~arnwags

Sunday, 12 March - York County, PA
Host: South Central Pennsylvania Genealogical Society
Web: www.scpgs.org/meetings

Monday, 13 March - Green Bay, WI
Host: Brown County Library
Web: www.browncountylibrary.org

Wednesday, 15 March - Bolingbrook, IL
Host: Fountaindale Public Library and Plainfield Public Library
Web: www.fountaindale.org

Thursday, 16 March - Bolingbrook, IL
Host: Fountaindale Public Library and Plainfield Public Library
Web: www.fountaindale.org

Friday, 17 March - Richmond, VA
Host: Library of Virginia
Web: libraryofvairishancestryday.eventbrite.com

Saturday, 18 March - Philadelphia, PA
Host: The Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania (GSP)
Web: genpa.org/events

Sunday, 19 March - Pittsburgh, PA
Host: Heinz History Center & Westmoreland County Historical Society
Web: http://www.heinzhistorycenter.org/events/irish-genealogy-workshop

Tuesday, 21 March - Little Rock, AR
Host: Arkansas Genealogical Society, Butler Center for Arkansas Studies.
Web: www.butlercenter.org

Further details at https://www.ancestryireland.com/northamericantour2017/

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Feb 21st 2017 - details at http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For details on my genealogy guide books, including A Beginner's Guide to British and Irish Genealogy, A Decade of Irish Centenaries: Researching Ireland 1912-1923Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition), Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

Glasgow Women's Library fundraiser

The Glasgow Women's Library has a fundraising initaitive currently on the go called Women on the Shelf.

Glasgow Women’s Library’s ‘Women on the Shelf’ fundraising initiative enables individuals and organisations to sponsor a Library section, shelf or book and dedicate it to a woman of their choice.

For more information, please visit http://womenslibrary.org.uk/how-to-get-involved/women-on-the-shelf/.

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Feb 21st 2017 - details at http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For details on my genealogy guide books, including A Beginner's Guide to British and Irish Genealogy, A Decade of Irish Centenaries: Researching Ireland 1912-1923Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition), Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

Northamptonshire tithe maps and Hampshire police books online

From TheGenealogist (www.thegenealogist.co.uk):

TheGenealogist releases Police Letter Books and Northumberland Colour Tithe maps 

TheGenealogist has just launched a new collection of Police Letter Books for Hampshire. This is an intriguing mixture of promotions, retirements, movements, and other observations about Police officers in this county from 1891 to 1911. In amongst its pages you will be able to trace the career of your Hampshire police ancestors as they rise or fall.

These records reveal names and collar numbers of officers promoted, reduced in rank or dismissed from the force for committing various acts of misconduct. The misdemeanors often seem to involve alcohol, ranging from accepting a glass of beer to being drunk on duty. For those more competent officers who were commended for their actions in the pages of these documents, you can read the actions that had been seen as deserving of inclusion in the Letter Books.

In addition, TheGenealogist has released the Colour Tithe Maps for Northumberland. These maps join the previously released greyscale maps for the majority of the country that are already published on TheGenealogist.


* Contains over 600 colour maps, linking to over 62,000 tithe records for this county

* These maps are a fantastic resource that enable you to see where your ancestors owned or occupied land in Northumberland

* The only online National collection of tithe records and maps

The searchable schedules, or apportionment books, contain detailed information on land use and these are linked to the maps on TheGenealogist. Clicking through from the transcript to a map will jump straight to the plot for an individual and can reveal buildings, fields, houses, rivers, lakes, woods and also cover villages, towns and cities.

For more information take a look now at www.thegenealogist.co.uk.

(With thanks to Nick Thorne)

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Feb 21st 2017 - details at http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For details on my genealogy guide books, including A Beginner's Guide to British and Irish Genealogy, A Decade of Irish Centenaries: Researching Ireland 1912-1923Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition), Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

A new challenge!

It's that time of life for a new challenge! Having recently become more politically active in my local community over the last few years, both on national and local community issues, I have spent the last few months going through a vetting process through the Scottish National Party (www.snp.org) for the forthcoming local government elections. I am pleased at long last to announce that having been successfully vetted and nominated, I will now be standing as one of two SNP candidates for the Stevenston ward in North Ayrshire.

Famous in the past for being the Scottish town where Nobel's explosives factory was based, and once home to coal mining and stone quarrying industries, Stevenston by many measures today is one of the more deprived areas of Scotland - but as is common in Ayrshire, it is a community with a true heart of gold and some great humour. I am very much looking forward to getting stuck in and working hard in the campaign ahead, and if elected, to representing the community with vigour on North Ayrshire Council.

So where does that leave the family history research side of things, you may ask? Well don't worry, I am not going anywhere on that front! This blog will continue, my research service will continue, as will my writing and speaking commitments, though I may need to re-jig certain priorities if I get elected. With the nature of council work, and the self-employed nature of the life of a genealogist, I should be able to juggle all the relevant commitments however.

On that, you may have noticed that I have not been posting on this blog quite as regularly as I was until a few months back, for which I must apologise. That is because I have already been hard at work for several months canvassing, training and more for the election task ahead. I may continue to post two or three times a week for the foreseeable future, but will endeavour to get all the relevant news out to you as quick as I can!

Onwards and upwards!

Here's the official new release announcing my candidacy - pictured with me is my fellow candidate Davina McTiernan:

Chris Paton

Chris Paton has been selected as an SNP candidate for Stevenston.

Chris works as a historian, writer, and part-time parliamentary researcher for Cunninghame North MSP Kenneth Gibson.

Married with two sons, he previously worked in the television industry for twelve years as a documentary maker. During that time he campaigned on a range of issues, including trading standards enforcement, men's health issues, mental health awareness, and the shortage of transplant donor organs.

As a member of the SNP in North Ayrshire, Chris has campaigned locally on issues such as the unfair state pension age rise for women and the retention of Ardrossan as the terminal for the Arran ferry.

Commenting on his selection, Chris said: “Stevenston is an area with a long and proud history as a community, but one with many significant social and economic challenges to be addressed.

“I am looking forward to the campaign. I will fight hard from the Ardeer peninsula to the Hayocks estate for the privilege to serve and represent the community with vigour on North Ayrshire Council.”


Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Feb 21st 2017 - details at http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For details on my genealogy guide books, including A Beginner's Guide to British and Irish Genealogy, A Decade of Irish Centenaries: Researching Ireland 1912-1923Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition), Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Visit to Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Glasgow

I had a great time earlier today visiting the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Glasgow (https://rcpsg.ac.uk), as part of a tour organised for the Scottish Genealogy Network (www.scottishgenealogynetwork.co.uk). We were met by one of the librarians and shown around the facility on Glasgow's St. Vincent Street.

First established in 1599 in Glasgow's Trongate area, the college has evolved over time with regards to its training role. At one time barbers were trained there, as well as surgeons, and the college also had premises for a time in the St. Enoch's Square area of the city, before arriving at its current location in the 19th century.

Today the facility deals with postgraduate tuition, and has a superb archive and library service, which we were keen to get our hands on! For a quick run down of its history, see https://rcpsg.ac.uk/college/about/history.

On our travels we were shown the Livinsgtone Room, dedicated to the memory of explorer Dr. David Livingstone, and various other museum items and rooms along the way. I grabbed a few images to give you a flavour:



Of course, the library was the the main jewel from our family historian based perspective, where we were shown several items such as class cards, which students collected after attending each class for their studies, registration rolls, vaccination registers and more.



My own five times great uncle, Dr. William Henderson, is someone that I have been researching for many years, and I was delighted to find an article that he wrote in the Edinburgh Medical Journal from 1822 that I had not come across before, about a "Case of Amaurosis", as well as another version of an article he wrote about a caesarean birth which he was also involved in during the 1820s, which I had previously located in The Lancet.



A superb facility which I must return to one day to carry out some additional research! Note that many archival items in the college's collection have been digitised and can be freely viewed at https://rcpsg.ac.uk/library/digital-volumes.

Thanks again as ever to Emma Maxwell for arranging, and to the college staff for a superb experience. If interested in finding out more about the SGN, please visit the website mentioned above.

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Feb 21st 2017 - details at http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For details on my genealogy guide books, including A Beginner's Guide to British and Irish Genealogy, A Decade of Irish Centenaries: Researching Ireland 1912-1923Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition), Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Memory of a Nation exhibition in Canberra

The National Archives of Australia  has announced news of an update to its Memory of a Nation exhibition in Canberra:

Sex education, Chinese Anzacs, Advance Australia Fair and CWA activism are some of the new topics on show in our refreshed Memory of a Nation exhibition.

Every year we update this permanent exhibition, replacing selected exhibits to ensure their ongoing preservation.

The exhibition now includes posters warning of the dangers of venereal disease at a time when the government feared the infections coming back with World War II soldiers would cause infertility in the community and limit population growth. However a letter from the Department of Health shows it was still reluctant to introduce sex education in schools in 1943.

And we look at Chinese Anzacs. During World War I, five sons enlisted from the Sam family. With a white Australian mother and a Chinese father, the sons were seen as ‘sufficiently European’ to serve overseas with the AIF. At the same time, their young brother Percy and father William needed to travel to China and came up against the White Australia policy.

Other new exhibits show the 11-year journey for Advance Australia Fair to replace God Save the Queen as the country’s national anthem and a fresh look at the Country Women’s Association and its political activism.

For more on the archive, please visit www.naa.gov.au

Chris

My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Feb 21st 2017 - details at http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For details on my genealogy guide books, including A Beginner's Guide to British and Irish Genealogy, A Decade of Irish Centenaries: Researching Ireland 1912-1923Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition), Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Clans and Surnames in Ireland conference

News of a conference to take place in Nenagh, Tipperary, Republic of Ireland, in May:

The 'Clans and Surnames of Ireland Genealogy Programme will take place from May 15 - 19, 2017 at the Great National Abbeycourt Hotel in Nenagh, County Tipperary. Our programme includes expert genealogy workshops, seminars, lectures, fieldtrips and valuable research advice for Irish family researchers. 

Our fieldtrips will be offered in County Clare, Limerick and Galway to facilitate a range of requirements. We can offer 'Walking Tours', Graveyard tours and Landscape character assessment fieldwork. We offer a suitable package for a companion who may not be taking the programme should you wish to travel with same. Conservation, preservation & collections care workshops are also scheduled within the programme for the week. Our programme is in high demand so don't delay and do not hesitate to contact Lorna Moloney for more details if required.

Our speakers include Kenneth Nicholls, Dr Paul MacCotter, Patrick Guinness, Sean J. Murphy, Fiona Fitzsimons, Dr Joe Mannion, Donough McGillacuddy, David Ryan, Regina Sexton, Lorna Moloney, Dr Michael C. Keane, Dr Ursula Callaghan, Rosaleen Underwood, Brian Donovan, John Tierney, Aiden Feerick, John Nangle, Margaret Jordan, Jennifer Armstrong Zinck, Jane Halloran-Ryan, Jennifer Wood, Tony Harpur. Tony Browne, Penny Walters, Deirdre Hunt and Treasa Kerrigan.

For further details, and to book, please visit http://www.clansandsurnames.com/irishclans/.

(With thanks to Lorna Moloney)

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including A Beginner's Guide to British and Irish Genealogy, A Decade of Irish Centenaries: Researching Ireland 1912-1923Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition), Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

New online family tree consistency checker on MyHeritage

My Heritage (www.myheritage.com) has announced that it is adding a facility to its online family tree hosting facility which has previously been available on its Family Tree Builder programme. From the announcement:

The Consistency Checker employs 36 different checks on the family tree data, ranging from the obvious (e.g., a person was born before their parent, or when the parent was too young to be a parent) to the subtle and hard to find (e.g., a person was tagged in a photo and the photo is dated before the person’s birth; or two full siblings were born 5 months apart, which is impossible). Some of the issues it finds are factual mistakes (e.g. wrong birth date entered), some are bad practices (e.g. birth year entered as 22 instead of 1922, or prefix entered as part of the first name instead of in the prefix field), some are warnings about possible data entry errors (e.g. a woman’s married surname was apparently entered as her maiden surname, or a place was entered that looks suspiciously like a date) and some are inconsistencies you may want to fix, such as references to the same place name with two different spellings. Any issue you feel is fine and should intentionally not be addressed can easily be marked to be ignored and will not be reported again.

The full announcement is available at https://blog.myheritage.com/2017/02/new-online-family-tree-consistency-checker/

(With thanks to Daniel Horowitz)

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including A Beginner's Guide to British and Irish Genealogy, A Decade of Irish Centenaries: Researching Ireland 1912-1923Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition), Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

MyHeritage Appoints new Chief Science Officer

From My Heritage (www.myheritage.com):

MyHeritage Appoints Prominent DNA Expert Dr. Yaniv Erlich as Chief Science Officer

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah , February 9, 2017 – MyHeritage, the leading international family history and DNA company, announced today the appointment of Dr. Yaniv Erlich as its Chief Science Officer. Dr. Erlich, a DNA scientist of world renown, will lead scientific development and strategy for MyHeritage DNA, the company's newly established DNA service for family history and ethnicity, and ensure that its products are built on a solid scientific foundation.

Dr. Erlich, nicknamed the Genome Hacker by Nature journal, brings to MyHeritage unparalleled experience in the field of genomics as Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Computational Biology at Columbia University and as a Core Member at the New York Genome Center. He is also the former principal investigator and a Whitehead Fellow at MIT's Whitehead Institute, founder of DNA.LAND and the principal investigator of the Erlich DNA lab.

Dr. Erlich completed his Ph.D. at the Watson School of Biological Sciences at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in 2010, and has won numerous awards as a cutting-edge scientist, including the Burroughs Wellcome Career Award (2013), the Harold M. Weintraub Award (2010) and the IEEE/ACM-CS High Performance Computing Award (2008). Dr. Erlich has a B.Sc. degree cum laude in Neuroscience from Tel Aviv University.

Dr. Erlich's research interests are diverse and cover many facets of computational human genetics, including population studies, DNA privacy, DNA storage and genetic research in crowd-sourced family trees.

“We're delighted to welcome Yaniv to our management team. Yaniv's expertise in computational genetics and its synergy with family history will provide the solid scientific foundation that is fundamental for setting apart our fast-growing DNA service from the others” said MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet. “We are committed to providing our users with the most accurate DNA results, and helping them understand more about themselves. Yaniv will lead a dedicated team of world-class scientists to help us achieve this.”

“I’m excited to join the talented team at MyHeritage and put my scientific experience to use by the millions of users on the MyHeritage platform,” said Dr. Erlich. “I've collaborated with MyHeritage since 2012 and have known them to be forward thinkers about building tools and platforms that enable massive scale scientific studies. I look forward to opening new horizons in consumer genetics in my new role, and further empowering our users with useful and creative tools that harness the latest scientific discoveries”.

MyHeritage DNA was launched in November 2016, offering simple DNA home-testing kits for determining users' ethnic origins and discovering new relatives. The service is offered in more than 190 countries worldwide, in 42 languages.

(With thanks to Daniel Horowitz)

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including A Beginner's Guide to British and Irish Genealogy, A Decade of Irish Centenaries: Researching Ireland 1912-1923Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition), Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

PRONI adds Hillsborough disaster lecture to YouTube

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland has added a new recorded lecture to its online YouTube collection:

Hillsborough - Researching 'Truth', Delivering 'Justice'

Ninety-six people died following a crush at Hillsborough on 15 April 1989 during a match between Liverpool FC and Nottingham Forest. In April 2016, an inquest jury concluded the fans were unlawfully killed.

Author of the highly acclaimed Hillsborough: The Truth (new edition 2016), Phil Scraton headed the Panel’s research and was primary author of its report. Having worked with the families and survivors since 1989, he was advisor to the families’ legal teams throughout the inquests. In this public lecture he reflects on the long-term campaign for truth, details the Panel’s extensive findings, analyses the new inquests, their outcome, the work of the IPCC and the case for prosecutions. Finally, he examines the impact of his critical research and truth recovery for challenging institutional injustice and holding State institutions to account.

Phil Scraton PhD is Professor of Criminology in the Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice, School of Law, Queen’s University, Belfast and Director of the Childhood, Transition and Social Justice Initiative.

To view the video please visit https://youtu.be/kZgm5fGbq6Y

Chris

For details on my genealogy guide books, including A Beginner's Guide to British and Irish Genealogy, A Decade of Irish Centenaries: Researching Ireland 1912-1923Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition), Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.