Archive for the ‘Conference News’ Category

Who really owned Britain was it your forbears?

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Britain’s Victorian “Doomsday Book” released online by Familyrelatives.com

The first ever complete collection of fully searchable Landowner returns is published online for England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

A record of who owned land in Britain and Ireland was created over a hundred years ago by the Victorians as a response to the great outcry about what was described as the monopoly of land. The wildest and most reckless exaggerations and mis-statements of fact were uttered about the number of individuals who were actual owners of the soil.

In the House of Lords it had been said that according to the Census of 1861 in the United Kingdom, there were no more than 30,000 landowners and although this estimate arose from a misreading of the figures, its accuracy had never been disputed, the true status was a matter of conjecture but it was believed to have been nearer 300,000 landowners.

In these circumstances a comprehensive “Return” was called for and termed the “Doomsday Book”. It was published in 1873 almost a thousand years after William the Conqueror commissioned the original Domesday Book in 1086.

These fascinating Returns provide the name and address of every Owner and their holding in acres, rods and poles, with the estimated yearly rental valuation of all holdings over 1 acre. Interestingly lease holders at the commencement of their term were considered as owners also, however those at the end of their term were not so considered.

As a result over 320,000 landowners of one acre or more can be searched online representing 1% of the entire population of the United Kingdom. The number of owners with less than one acre was nearly 850,000. London the “Great Metropolis” was excluded from the Returns as was waste land if it yielded no profit.

Among the landowning aristocracy were the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry who owned 432,373 acres in the Scottish Highlands and the Duke of Norfolk with 44,638 acres mostly around Arundel Castle in Sussex. The Prince of Wales’ estate at Sandringham is listed with 6,724 acres, as are Charles Dickens and Alfred Tennyson with more modest holdings.

The Victorians with their conviction for detail and orderliness even counted asylums, hospitals, colleges, school trustees, railway companies, navigation companies, sewer commissioners, War department, water works and river commissioners as a vital part of their record keeping.

Kate Williams wil be speaking at the forthcoming conference on Young Victoria, the first Royal Rebel as well as John Hanson who will be discussing the census, two related subjects to the Domesday project. There will also be speakers on medieval genealogy including well known historian Nick Barratt.

At just £369 including accommodation, meals and refreshments for a four day conference there has never been a better time (or better price) to attend a genealogy conference that is supported by many sponsors including Hague-Lambert Solicitors and the Society of Genealogists.

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Deceased Online Sponsor Conference

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

As the first national online database dedicated to burial and cremation records, Deceased Online is delighted to be a sponsor and exhibitor at Open the Door and Here are the People. Following our launch at London Olympia s Who Do You Think You Are Live in February, we ve been on the road meeting family historians and genealogists around the country and we re delighted to have received such a big thumbs-up for the new website, www.deceasedonline.com.

Deceased Online obtains burial and cremation data going back to the early 1800s from burial and cremation authorities, and we will shorty have records from over 10 councils around the UK. We will be building the database over the next few years, adding millions of records from hundreds of councils and other sources.

A whole range of records and images is available, including: Computerised burial and cremation records; transcripts of burial and cremation registers, containing a variety of information. All records kept since computerisation will be available in this form; some authorities have also transcribed some or all of their historical records.

High quality digital scans of burial and cremation registers; these vary by local authority and the type of information recorded in addition to statutory requirements. The most comprehensive hold great detail, including name, age, address and, sometimes, occupation of deceased; spouse s name; grave location reference and type (paupers, private etc); date of death; details of undertaker; details of clergy, religion and church or venue of bereavement service.

Scans are held on the website for most burials and cremations up to within three or four years of the present day. Jm barrie gravestone Details of all occupants of a grave; individual graves may have a number of interments (we ve seen as many as 15) and here you can see all the names of other people interred in the same grave as the sought-after person. This can be extremely useful in discovering relatives and other family links ..and often provides some real surprises!

Deceased Online is one of the few resources where you can get this information. Digital scans of books of remembrance; these crematorium memorial books contain decorative commemorative entries, sometimes with useful dates and informative emblems, such as regimental or professional insignia.

Deceased Online is aiming to be able to display digital scans held by the calligraphy companies who maintain these books. Photographs of grave headstones and memorials; these have started to be introduced to the website, and local authorities are keen to supply where they can. Older headstones can provide a range of information, even entire genealogies for several generations within a family.

Cemetery maps showing exact grave locations; these include a cemetery overview, an intermediate map indicating grave location and a detailed close-up indicating the exact location of the grave plot. This is extremely useful in locating a grave in larger cemeteries even if it has no headstone. The high quality images are presented using a flexible viewer, allowing maps, scans and photographs to be manipulated, printed and downloaded. Images and transcripts are accessed by spending credits bought on the website. The photographs cost £2 each and the cemetery maps cost between £5 and £10, depending on whether they are subject to Ordnance Survey royalties. All other data available costs £1.50 to access. Users search on names, dates and locations free of charge, and only purchase what they need. The revenue generated is shared with the contributor supplying the data.

burial register

You can find out more about burial and cremation records in conference F-09, Burial records for family historians presented by Alec Tritton on Friday 28 August just before lunch. We look forward to meeting you at the conference.

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Ask the Experts – The Society of Genealogists at the Conference

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

The Society of Genealogists, the National Library and Education Centre for Family History in the United Kingdom will be giving a series of lectures under the theme "Ask the Experts" at the conference to help your research beyond the first steps. Lecturers will include Else Churchill, the Society’s Genealogy Officer and cover a diverse range of subjects from Surname Searching through Online Birth, Marriage and Death Records to the roll of DNA in family history.

Founded in 1911 the Society of Genealogists is Britain’s premier family history society. The Society maintains a splendid genealogical library and education centre in Clerkenwell in London.

The Society’s collections are particularly valuable for research before the start of civil registration of births marriages and deaths in 1837 but there is plenty for the beginner too, including the Free Family HIstory Access area where beginners can get a taste of some of the online sources that will help them start their research.

The Society has many unique unpublished manuscript notes and printed and unpublished family histories. Its library contains Britain’s largest collection of parish register copies and many nonconformist registers. Along with registers, the library holds local histories, copies of churchyard gravestone inscriptions, poll books, trade directories, census indexes and a wealth of information about the parishes where our ancestors lived.

Normally the Society of Genealogists has a joining fee but as an exclusive special offer for the conference, if you are not a member already, the Society will waive the one off joining fee should you join during the conference.

This stream of lectures is just one of the choices available to delegates at the forthcoming genealogy conference and with an all inclusive price of just £329 (under 500 US dollars) to include the conference, accommodation, all meals and the banquet there will never be a better time to attend a family history conference in England. Why not come along, enjoy the conference , join the Society of Genealogists and spend a week in London discovering your heritage.

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Why attend a family history conference?

Monday, January 12th, 2009

Ever since I can remember, I have always had an interest in family history and like most people, a life event over twenty years ago acted as the catalyst for me to research my genealogy. Not having any experience as a genealogist, I started by reading a book and joining a family history society. My interest in Kent meant that although living in Sussex, I joined KFHS. It wasn’t long before I realised that there was very few Kent resources available locally and subsequently I joined the Society of Genealogists. Of course by now I thought I knew it all and it wasn’t long after that I attended my first family history conference to find out how much I didn’t know! That genealogical conference was in fact  organised by the Guild of One-Name Studies at the Florence Boot Hall at Nottingham. Since then I have been to virtually every conference I can, as I believe family history conferences are far the best source of learning about new resources and listening to great family and local history lectures by expert lectures and speakers. It is also a great way of meeting new friends interested in the same hobby, in fact it has been known for my bar bill to be more than the cost of the conference!

Every two to three years in England, there is held an International Family History Conference and this is happening in 2009. Instead of just a weekend it is to be held over four complete days and has as its theme “Open the Door and Here are the People” which makes it worthwhile for those whose ancestors emigrated from the British Isles to attend. Not only is it financially viable but it will also have many lectures talking about the people of the British Isles from many venerable Institutions as well as lectures and workshops on Heraldry and Palaeography. See the conference program at www.openthedoor.org.uk

Financially viable? In England we do conferences different than in most other English speaking conferences and this International Family History Conference will be no different! It is a full residential course with a single fee inclusive of all lectures and workshops, three nights accommodation in en-suite accommodation, all meals from lunch on the Friday up to and inclusive of lunch on the Monday as well as all non-alcoholic refreshments. ALL this for the early bird rate of £329 and with the dollar being so strong it means this will cost UNDER $500 inclusive of tax. There has never been a better time to attend a conference. So book your flights this week!!

This International Family History Conference is being held this year (2009) from Friday 28th August till Monday 31st August (a holiday weekend in England) in Nottingham  at the East Midlands Conference Centre.

Don’t forget you can always extend your stay both in Nottingham where we can offer en-suite bed and breakfast accommodation at £35 per night and there are plenty of family historians who offer similar facilities close to most record offices. You could of course spend time in London at the Society of Genealogists or any of the other London Archives, so why not make it a once in a lifetime vacation.

With between 4 and 5 lectures to chose from each session, I find the idea of this genealogical conference quite exciting and am looking forward to it with great expectations -  not least the concept of meeting old and making new friends – so “See you there!”

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Attending a family history conference

Friday, December 12th, 2008

From the moment I started to research my own family history I have been heavily and actively involved in the genealogy world.  I attended my first local and family history conference in 1991 and and the very next year I became involved in my local family history society as a volunteer.  In those days there were two residential conferences on family history every year as well as specialised ones on heraldry and one-name studies.  At these conferences, the Federation of Family History Societies is usually invited to hold either their AGM or General meeting as they were usually organised by member societies.  Virtually all of these were 48-hour residential weekend events and held at universities around the country.  Being residential of course meant that meals and refreshments were included making them, overall very well priced as everything was included including morning and afternoon refreshments. Normally there was also a celebratory banquet.

genealogical conference 

Even So the number of societies able or prepared to host such events has sadly declined over the last 8 years or so for a variety of reasons.   In an increasingly commercial environment, volunteers inevitably don’t necessarily have the skill sets or the time to mastermind a large residential event, thus during 2007 no national conferences were organised and only one in 2008.  To Boot, although the way that we undertake our research and access records has dramatically altered over the last few years, I don’t feel that some of the conferences of late have of necessity been able to meet the needs of the newer type investigator.

TV programs such as Who Do You Think You Are? have dramatically increased the number of people who wish to know about their ancestry’ and the ease that we can now access many records. With great enthusiasm they get together with those, who are already established on the route towards discovering their own personal heritage.  I believe that the needs and expectations of this new breed of researcher are therefore very different to the needs and expectations that I had when I began my own research.

Indeed what should you expect from attending a genealogical conference?

Attending a residential conference gives you the opportunity to meet and interact with others of yoru persuasion, who share your enthusiasm for the past.  Numerous established researchers attending such events will be more than happy to give a the benefit of their advice to those just starting their research, those who have hit a brick wall or those just wishing to add to their genealogical knowledge.

You can hear lectures given ‘live’ by invited lecturers in their chosen disipline. Each speaker will normally be an expert in family hsitory, genealogy, heraldry or loacl history..  You have the opportunity to attend a great number of lectures, seminars or workshops where you are able to get guidance and advice specific to your needs, raising your knowledge on the topics of your choice along the way. 

I thoroughly enjoy savoring in the conference ambience, sharing the vibes of the live lecture, which I can only experience by in reality being there.  I think attending a conference can be something special and a wonderful opportunity and a real experience.  Above all, don’t let the opportunity pass without having a great time meetingold and making new acquaintances! It has even been known for delegates to meet cousins they never knew existed!

family history event 

The next international  conference on genealogy  is being hosted by the Halsted Trust from 28 to 31 August 2009, and is being hosted at the East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham, England

Open the Door & Here are the People, the conference will be taking on board the needs of both the current generation of researcher as well as those experienced in tfamily history, the conference will cover a wide spectrum of subjects of interest to the family, local and social historian. There will be experts, information and celebrity lecturers on subjects from buildings to immigration and the military to industrial Britain.

Speakers include notable historians and authors Kate Williams and Sarah Wise plus lecturers from The Galleries of Justice, Institute for Name-Studies, King’s College, London, The Library & Museum of Freemasonry, The Media Archive for Central England, National Maritime Museum, National Monuments Record, Parliamentary Archives, Royal Geographical Society, The Women’s Library and the Society of Genealogists as well as many experienced and professional family hsitorians. 

The Trust have negotiated a great deal for attendees with an early bird rate of £329 which at today’s rate is less than $500. Don’t miss this opportunity to attend what I hope will be a "once ina lifetime" event.

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