Newsletter 6 – October 2020
It never ceases to amaze me the things I get asked. I realise that this is because I am the ‘font of all knowledge’, but some things stretch even my knowledge a little too far!
Last week I had an email asking if I knew anything about a certain cricketer that played one game for Worcestershire Cricket Club in 1900. Now I like cricket and technically because we live in Worcestershire, perhaps I should know more than I do, but my knowledge of its players is very limited.
Luckily, I did a search on Ancestry and as it happened somebody had this chap in his family tree, so I was able to help after all, but it set me thinking. If I get a tricky question like that, I always put the name, place or whatever into the Search engine I use and just click. You would be surprised just how often an answer comes up.
Along the same vein, how many of you stick to the same websites, even the paid ones? One of the most useful free sites I find is UKBMD https://www.ukbmd.org.uk. If you listened to my talk on Civil Registration, you would know that I am fan of this site as well as its sister sites, Freebmd, FreeCen and FreeReg. They may only be indexes, but they are always a good place to start to begin your search.
I see that FMP has put on some Birmingham cemetery burials, but according to some answers/questions on Facebook it is not complete, so if you cannot find your ancestor remember that we have transcribed the burial interment registers for Key Hill, Warstone Lane, Handsworth and Witton. The indexes can be viewed on our website in the Members area. Normally I would say that you can go into our Centre and look up the relevant pages, but that is not going to happen anytime soon, so you can obtain a copy for £5 via our online shop.
So many organisations from National Archives to Family History Societies are now using video conferencing, webinars, podcasts, etc. If you are wondering how they work, look on YouTube and put in a key word, Zoom, Teams, you will soon get the answer and all free.
Which brings me to our own online talks. We have a bumper month scheduled for November.
On 4th November at 2pm – Phil Lamb will be giving a talk entitled ‘Searching for Uncle George, lost in France 1916’. The talk centres on George Marquand Truss who died at the battle of the Somme and Phil will explain how he tracked his movements to find George’s final resting place.
Our Bromsgrove Group’s monthly meeting online is entitled ‘What’s in a Name – Talking Butts’ given by Anthony Paulton-Smith and will be held on 10th November at 7.30pm. Go to the Bromsgrove Group website for more details.
On 11th November at 7.30pm, Kenilworth Group will be hosting their first zoom talk. The talk will be by Jacqui Kirk, who is a well-known professional Genealogist based in Warwickshire and will be sharing some of her experiences in researching family history.
Lesley Plant, Secretary to the Group says: “If you’ve read any of the genealogy detective novels, such as the Morton Farrier ones by Nathan Dylan Goodwin, you may be wondering what does this occupation really entail, and is it really as dangerous for the genealogist as the novels suggest? The Kenilworth Group posed this question to Jacqui, and she agreed to tell us some of her experiences.
Dave Kerr, Chairman of our London Group will be presenting a talk entitled ‘Tompson or Thompson’ on 18th November at 2pm. He will talk about how differences in the spelling of family names can lead you up the wrong road.
For further details go to the Calendar on the website. Register no earlier than seven days prior to the talk via the Calendar.
PARK STREET BURIAL GROUND
Considerable interest was generated by the ‘Dig’ at Park Street, Birmingham shown on TV. Just to reiterate, the burial ground is being excavated because of the HS2 station and was an extension to St. Martin’s Parish Church. As such any burials at Park Street are contained in the main registers for St. Martin’s.
You may be aware, that some years ago the Society re-filmed all the records for St. Martin’s (including some that had been missing from the original filming) and these are available to purchase via our online shop. There are in total about 1 million entries and the registers have been split into various chunks., which we sell as downloads, but the original DVD of the total register is still available to purchase at a remarkable price of £30. The records include:
Go to our online shop https://midland-ancestors.shop/ for further details
Phil has been sent information about webinars to do with the archaeology of the HS2 project covering the Midlands.
Go to HS2 archaeology webinars on YouTube
The Archaeology of HS2 – Uncovering Park Street
The Archaeology of HS2 – Uncovering Mercote Marsh and Fosse Way
The Archaeology of HS2 – Uncovering Coleshill
The Archaeology of HS2 – Uncovering finds from Fleet Marston Recording
The Archaeology of HS2 – Exploring the Landscape Evolution of the Colne Valley
An Introduction to Archaeology of HS2 Phase 2a – Fradley to Crewe
Our Groups have been sending me their programmes for 2021, which will be issued with the December journal.
Obviously, we do not know what is going to happen in 2021, and when we will get back to some form of normality, but if the worst should happen and we are still not able to meet personally, some of the Groups can give their talks online.
Please do check the relevant Group pages on our website before you travel to any of the venues.
WOLVERHAMPTON GROUP – Penny Smith
Our Wolverhampton Group will be moving premises in 2021. Their new address will be The Perton Civic Centre, Perton, Wolverhampton. They are also changing the day they meet to the last Wednesday of the month. Some meetings will be in the evening and some in the afternoon. Please note Perton centre is closed for January and February, so the Group’s first meeting will not be until 31 March in the afternoon.
LONDON GROUP – Dave Kerr
The London Branch continues to monitor the situation and has enough volunteers within the group to speak at any meetings that might be able to take place at short notice. Of course the “rule of six” and future restrictions on the group size at the Society of Genealogists will determine when we can meet again. The use of public transport to attend a London meeting is somewhat undesirable at the moment though I understand that there are few travelling from Bedford nowadays. There are even spaces in the car park during the week! For anyone desperate enough to want to see and hear your chairman again there will no doubt be a reminder in this newsletter about his zoom appearance! (Must finish the talk off in light of new information!)
FORTHCOMING DIGITAL FAMILY HISTORY SHOW
If you are a Facebook user, you may have seen that the Family History Federation are holding a virtual Family History Show on 14 November 10am to 4pm with lots of very well-known speakers, family history societies, Ask the Experts etc.
I think that how it will work is a bit like using Zoom, Exhibitors will have their own ‘channel’ and visitors can chose where they want to go. There are 25 well known speakers and if you cannot get round them all, their talks will be available for 48 hours after the event. If you are interested in attending, tickets are £7 each. For further details, go to https://www.fhf-reallyuseful.com/
Finally, Linda our Editor of the Midland Ancestor, has asked me to remind you that she is always looking for contributions for the magazine. If you need to contact Linda, you can on email@example.com.
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