Archive for January, 2009

I see from next week’s Radio Times that a new sixth series of the family history show Who Do You Think You Are is beginning on Monday 2 February at 9.00 pm on BBC1. The subject of the first programme will be the political impressionist Rory Bremner, followed by newsreader Fiona Bruce, restaurateur Rick Stein and actors Zoe Wanamaker and Kevin Whately (not necessarily in that order).

You can view trailers for the five programmes at the BBC website.


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New local BMD site for Berkshire

Here’s a message from Chad Hanna, Berkshire BMD:
The Berkshire Family History Society is pleased to announce that www.BerkshireBMD.org.uk web site has finally gone live with nearly a quarter of a million births, marriages and deaths from the Reading Registration District, including the years 1837 -1939. We plan to add more marriages during February to bring the 7,500 currently online up to a more respectable 50,000.

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Another set of Irish records has just been made available online. You can now search the birth, marriage and death indexes for Ireland’s civil registration at the LDS FamilySearch Pilot site http://pilot.familysearch.org/recordsearch/start.html#p=2;t=searchable;c=1408347. The indexes cover all-Ireland from 1845 (for non-Roman Catholic marriages) or 1864 (births, deaths and Catholic marriages) to 1921, and the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland from 1922-58.

You can order Northern Ireland birth, marriage and death certificates online from the General Register Office Northern Ireland www.groni.gov.uk/index/order_certificates.htm. For the Republic, you’ll have to apply to its General Register Office by post. You can download the forms at www.groireland.ie/apply_for_a_cert.htm.


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The service records of around 110,000 Royal Marines have been made available at The National Archives’ website Documents Online www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline. The records cover the period 1842-1936.

Linda and I took a look to see if we could find the service record of the man we think was her great-grandfather, William Freeth, as we hadn’t been able to trace it at The National Archives at Kew. No such luck! We had found him in one of the Royal Marines’ description books, so at least we do know he was in the Marines. I hope you have more success online than we did.


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News from Holly Cochran, Site Manager of Durham Records Online

Bishopwearmouth Cemetery burials 1898-1900
4,501 burials at Bishopwearmouth Cemetery from 1 Jan 1898 to 12 May 1900. Some samples of the detail in these records:

  • 5 Jan 1898 Thomas Fowler Thatcher, of 10 Boughton Street, age: 67, grocer
  • 10 Jan 1898 Andrew Nicholson, of 55 Brougham Street, age: 8 weeks, son of Charles W. Nicholson
  • 9 Jan 1898 Lucy Long, of 31 Mordey Street, age: 51, wife of Dennis Long
  • 30 Jan 1898 Morris Frank, of 19 East Street, age: 4 months, son of David Frank, Quaker

This brings our research at Bishopwearmouth Cemetery to an end for the time being. We have transcribed 61,348 burials from the cemetery’s opening in 1856 to 12 May 1900. Now we will switch our attention to Sunderland cemetery in Stockton Road, Grangetown, which opened on June 2, 1858. Sunderland Cemetery was the successor burial ground to the graveyard at Sunderland parish church and is still in use today. Since 1858 it has been the burial ground for Sunderland’s East End. This is the last of the big burial grounds in Greater Sunderland to be covered by us and will add immeasurably to our understanding of the city’s history.  Within a few months, genealogists will have a 99.9% chance of instantly locating the graves of their Sunderland ancestors who died before 1900.

Durham Diocese marriage bonds 1749-1759
3,138 marriage bonds issued by the Durham Diocese 1749-1759.
Marriage bonds often provide ages, occupations, and place of residence for the bride and groom during a period when marriage registers did not provide that information. Please read the Marriages Bonds section of the Transcription Samples page for a description of what information is found in bonds, allegations, and associated documents, and how we present that information.

In 1750 & 1751, the bundles (allegations, bonds, affidavits, parent/guardian consents, directions) are in a very bad condition with many parts missing, torn or frayed. Names of some of the parties are missing from some of the bonds. For these years, we have done additional research on possible marriages and in a few cases have identified the missing names. We show these enclosed in square brackets. We have also added brief details (Date, Place) of many actual marriages, which we provide when you purchase a bond. Except for the period 31 Aug – 19 Sep, there are no significant gaps.

The Diocese of Durham covered all of County Durham and parts of Northumberland and North Yorkshire. Marriage bonds were not issued on a per-district basis, so the District filter is ignored when the marriage bond database is searched.

These records are from Ron Nubley’s Index, which we are in the process of integrating into our collection, so when you buy one of these, you will immediately get the brief index entry, and the full entry will be transcribed and emailed to you within 3 days, at which point it becomes part of our database and you can view it again at any time.

Hetton-le-Hole baptisms & burials 1832-1835
786 baptisms and 436 burials at Hetton-le-Hole St. Nicholas from the time the church opened in Nov 1832 to the end of 1835, transcribed from the Bishop’s Transcript.  Previously part of the parish of Houghton-le-Spring, this church served the coal mining communities of Brick Garth, Cross Lanes, Downs Lane, Easington Lane, Elemore Vale, Eppleton, Hetton-le-Hole, High Downs, Low Downs, Low Moorsley, Lyons, Murton Lane, and South Hetton. According to Pigot’s 1834 Directory of County Durham, the population of Hetton expanded from about 500 in 1821 to nearly 8,000 in 1834, with most of those dependent on the colliery for a living, and the baptism register reflects that population exposion !

South Shields baptisms 1828-1829
1,192 baptisms at South Shields St. Hilda’s for the years 1828 and 1829

Errata: In the last announcement, I said Sadberge was in Auckland district, but for our pre-1937 purposes, it was in Darlington district, so I have changed the site to say that. If you bought any Sadberge records, please annotate them accordingly.

Coming Soon:

  • Washington baptisms & burials 1813-17
  • Auckland St. Andrew baptisms 1813
  • Gateshead St Mary baptisms 1813
  • Hamsterley burials 1813-18
  • Stockton St. Thomas baptisms 1807-1812
  • Hart baptisms, marriages, and burials 1577-1677

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Message from Ian Hartas, Cheshire BMD www.cheshirebmd.org.uk

This afternoon’s additions to the Cheshire BMD web site are:

1,500 for Tranmere, registers at Wirral (1905-1906)
999 for Woodchurch, registers at Wirral (1914-1917)
1,501 for Neston, registers at Wirral (1902-1915)
999 for Wallasey, registers at Wirral (1923-1924)
699 for Weaverham, St Mary, registers at Cheshire Central (1951-1974)
75 for Weston by Crewe All Saints, registers at Cheshire Central (1951-1974)
14 for Wettenhall, St David, registers at Cheshire Central (1952-1973)
Many thanks to the transcribers and others involved.

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More North Wales deaths

Message from Vic Roberts, North Wales BMD www.northwalesbmd.org.uk
The North Wales BMD website has just been updated with the following
records from Wrexham Register Office:
Deaths – Holt sub-district  1856-1950  (9,469)
Many thanks to all the volunteers who are helping to make this possible.

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