The later nineteenth century is the simplest period to deal with for the family historian. The census shows the family unit, while the GRO records give us the details of individual lives. Ecclesiastical records provide an added source, as do wills, newspapers and military records.
We are all aware of Bristol’s role in the slave trade, and that many of the wealthy residents of our area made their fortunes from it. It is less well-known that, when slavery in the British Empire was made illegal in 1833, slave owners were compensated by the government for their loss. Some of the sums received were considerable.
Recent issues of the monthly family history magazines have been full of what the websites will be offering new in 2013. I don’t have the benefit of the press releases, so what you read here is what is available now.
First, some financial news. Ancestry, the family history website, has been sold for $1.6 billion (about £1 billion) to Permira, a European private equity fund. The Ancestry headquarters will remain in Provo, Utah, U.S., and the present senior executives of Ancestry will retain a financial interest, but this could lead to some interesting developments in the future.