In my article in the June Journal, I wrote about problems with the new FamilySearch database, where some Bristol events had been attributed to Abbots Leigh parish when they had in fact taken place elsewhere. This error now appears to have been corrected, and certainly some events that I checked are now shown as being at the right parish.
Unfortunately, other errors still exist. Some records for St Stephen from 1790 to 1819 are shown as being from St Saviour, Woolcot Park, Cotham, a church which was only built in 1875. I have also found that baptisms which took place at Saltford are listed by FamilySearch as being in the register for Williton, and that baptisms recorded at Rodney Stoke actually happened at St Catherines or at Saltford. The usual advice is to always check the original record, and that is certainly worth doing if the original records are locally available. Unfortunately, finding that this sort of error has occurred is no help towards correcting it. Once again, I am grateful for BAFHS member Chris Jeffries to keeping me informed about developments at FamilySearch, and would be interested to pass on information about any other errors which you find.
The new FamilySearch site now has a permanent web address at www.familysearch.org/. Don’t forget that it contains information it from across the world, including U.S. censuses, French BMD records, and New Zealand immigration records.
One of the counties whose records are currently being transcribed for FamilySearch is Dorset, and these will add to what is already a considerable online resource for the county. Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk) has parish registers from 1813 onwards, complete with images of the originals. It also has Dorset probate registers with images of the originals, and I was pleased to find the will of a hurdle-making ancestor who I never imagined was wealthy enough to have made one. Transcriptions of parish registers for the period before 1813 are on Findmypast (www.findmypast.co.uk).
Findmypast has also recently added over 40,000 BMD records for some Gloucestershire parishes from 1695 to 1796. The parishes covered are Cam, Coaley, Dursley, Nympsfield, Owlpen, Slimbridge, Stinchcombe, and Uley. They also have over 90,000 baptism records for some Wiltshire parishes from 1538 to 1867. There are over half a million militia records from 1760 to 1915 also now available on Findmypast.
Electoral registers are an underused resource, but can confirm where people were living between the censuses, and for the period after 1911. Origins.net (www.britishorigins.com) now has over 2 million entries from the electoral registers for Somerset from 1832 to 1914. Origins also has a Dorset marriage index 1538-1856, which complements the other sources listed above.
Pat Lindegaard is a regular contributor to the Journal, and I have previously mentioned her very interesting website at www.bristolfamilyhistory.co.uk/. One particularly valuable section is The Kingswood Index, a miscellaneous collection of information that Pat has collected over the years. It is well worth looking at if you have ancestors from anywhere in the Bristol area.
Few family historians are of the right generation for Facebook and Twitter, but blogging seems a little more suited to our pace, and enables us to contribute to discussions and share information. The following blogs have come to my notice in recent months, but there are probably many others.
Geneabloggers at www.geneabloggers.com/ contains links to other people’s family history blogs and has an international, and largely American, readership. Scottish Genes (www.scottishancestry.blogspot.com/) has a Scottish focus, as its name implies. Two blogs from commercial sites are Findmypast at http://blog.findmypast.co.uk/ and http://blogs.ancestry.com/uk/. Interestingly, Findmypast has the names of the winners of prizes at the recent SWAG fair at Weston super Mare, while Ancestry has an article about the SWAG fair by the organiser Bob Steed. FamilySearch has a blog at www.familysearch.org/blog.
Two sources that I use when writing these articles are Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter (http://blog.eogn.com/) which is American in origin but includes events and news worldwide. The monthly newsletter published by Peter Calver of Lost Cousins (www.lostcousins.com/) is good for U.K. family history news. You need to register to receive these last two items.
Finally, a quick round up of some other sites of which you may be unaware. The Irish Findmypast at www.findmypast.ie is a pay site with access to various Irish records, while the Australian and New Zealand equivalent at www.findmypast.com.au/ covers Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands and Papua New Guinea. Mapping our Anzacs at http://mappingouranzacs.naa.gov.au/default.aspx will be of interest to those with Australian relatives who served in the forces in the First World War. The Australian Ancestry site at www.ancestry.com.au/immigration has a number of databases concerned with immigration to that country.
The Documents Online section of The National Archives website at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/ now has naval officer’s service record cards. Those with family members who were freemasons may like to check the website of the Library and Museum of Freemasonry at www.freemasonry.london.museum/.
If you are looking for information about historic or listed buildings in England, there is a complete database at www.english-heritage.org.uk/professional/protection/process/national-heritage-list-for-england/ . Images of most of these buildings can be found at www.imagesofengland.org.uk, but the database of this second site is not as up to date.
Finally, the village of Cromhall is right at the north end of our Society area. It has its own village website containing some family history information at www.cromhall.com/.