I AM SENDING THIS NEWSLETTER OUT A FEW DAYS EARLY AS WE HAVE IMPORTANT NEWS ABOUT OUR GROUPS’ REOPENING, SOME THIS WEEK. (I’ve put these in date order of opening)
Wolverhampton: Physical meetings restart on 29 September at their new venue, Perton Civic Centre, Church Road, Perton Wolverhampton, WV6 7PD. Room opens 7.15 p.m. Meeting starts 7.30 p.m.
This will be just a get together and Penny is hoping to see as many members as possible.
London: meetings restart at a new venue on Saturday 2 October at 10.30am. The new venue will be Wesley’s Chapel and Leysian Mission, City Road (lovely building). This will just be a ‘get together’ and there will also be a talk by Brian Gubbins entitled “the mystery of the cabin boy lost at sea”. Dave Kerr says everybody welcome.
Birmingham: Informal Coffee Morning in the BMI
Members get together and catchup in the Theatre Bar (cafeteria)
Wed 6th Oct 10:30 – 12:30
Maceik and Martin will have the coffee on the go, they will also have some superb cake. Many can testify as to how tasty the cake is. Lemon Drizzle, Carrot & Walnut and much more. Tea, coffee, biscuits and snacks sandwiches and cake available, all at reasonable prices.
Take time to catch up with fellow members and see what ideas we have for 2022 in the BMI.
If you are planning to attend, could you please let me know by 3rd October just to make sure we have enough chairs!
You could also stay on a while and have a light lunch selecting from –
Good range of sandwiches –
Ham, tuna, cheese, chicken, turkey, egg
With optional additions of –
Cheese, tomato, mustard, cucumber, onion, pickle, bacon, lettuce etc.
Also available – apples, bananas, orange,
Chocolate bars, crisps,
Canned soft drinks, tea & coffee.
If anyone would like to visit the Family History Centre afterwards, they need to register via the website, so we don’t get too many people in the library. We still have social distancing rules in place, max 4 people at any one time.
Bromsgrove physical meetings restart on 12 October 7.45pm at the Methodist Centre. Mike Sharpe tells me that Graham Sutherland has been booked to give a talk about: ‘brandy for the parson’. Mike is looking forward to having members back face to face.
Kenilworth: will continue with zoom meetings for the time being. Their next zoom talk will be on Wednesday 13 October. Please note there has been a change to the advertised talk. Well known speaker, Vanessa Morgan, will now be talking about a ‘Brummie in the family’. Full details on how to register can be found on the website under Events.
North Staffs: Had hoped to restart in October, but repairs to the church hall are not yet completed, so they are planning to hold a meeting in December just to get going. Their next meeting after that will be February as they don’t hold a meeting in January.
Stourbridge: have carried out a poll and 42% said they would be willing to meet in person. No dates yet.
Phil would also like me to remind group organisers that the following guidelines should be adhered to:
The wearing of masks
Logging of attendees and their contact details
YOUR SOCIETY NEEDS YOU!
HYBRID ZOOM MEETINGS
As Phil mentioned in the MA recently, he is investigating how these will work from the Birmingham meeting rooms. He would welcome involvement from any member with a bit of IT expertise and some free time. It will need a lot of setting up and managing and without more people being involved it will not happen. It is too much for just one person. That would mean either zoom meetings or Birmingham meetings being compromised. Get in touch with Phil to find out more and be there from the start.
Our next online talk will be on 20 October at 2 – 4pm.
Anthony Marr, a former Deputy Registrar of births, deaths and marriages will be giving us a talk on the Hidden secrets of Registration. See Website for details on how to register.
Here’s an interesting fact. I had asked Mark in our library to look for a burial at Romsley, a small village quite close to Stourbridge and this is what he said:
“I’ve had a look at what we’ve got on Romsley and was a bit puzzled as to why we have transcripts of the baptisms and marriages, but no burials.
“However, looking at the website for the Romsley and Hunnington History Society (which also has a transcript of the parish registers), this gives an explanation. The first burials took place at Romsley in 1861 and before that, any burials would have been at Halesowen”.
So it just shows you not to take things at face value. You must do a bit of digging. Don’t forget on our website, under resources, we have details of the parishes in Warwickshire and Worcestershire which give details of the records, when they date from and where they are.
Most Family History Societies have been transcribing and indexing, etc. for years and are very knowledgeable about their area. Even if they can’t help, they could point you in the direction of the likely burial places, especially churchyards, etc. So if you do get stuck go to the experts!
If one of your ancestors died in Powick Asylum near Worcester, the Worcester Medical Museum contains details of patients from Powick Asylum from 1852-1916. Its records are available to search via their website Https://medicalmuseum.org.uk/powick-patients
Thomas Coram established the Foundling Hospital in London in 1739 for children whose mothers could not look after them. The mothers were allowed to leave their child something, a note, hankie, jewellery, piece of cloth and these have been kept at the hospital. After admission the children were baptised and given a new name to protect the identity of the mother. The hospital is undertaking a project to transcribe the handwriting from historic records in the Foundling Hospital archive, dating back to 1739. For further details on the hospital and project go to: coramstory.org.uk/corams-history
I see that the church of England is proposing to launch a free website next year where they intend to list every grave memorial in every churchyard in the country. It says that it will soon be possible to visit almost any Anglican burial ground in the country and see in real time the location of burial plots.
Two things spring to mind. What about the churchyards where the graves are overgrown, fallen headstones or are unreadable?
What about the graves that don’t have a headstone or where they have been grassed over?
Many Family History Societies have spent years transcribing headstones. I know it is not the same as seeing a photograph, but sometimes you may see the stone, but it unreadable.
You would think that they would first consult the very people who know the most about churchyards, Family History Societies, and get them on board. Or is that too easy?
Familysearch, the world’s largest free family history website, has completed its 20-year project to digitise millions of rolls of microfilm. They had expected this to take 50 years, but due to advances in technology, this has taken less time.
As you may be aware, our Family History Centre in Birmingham is an affiliate library to Familysearch, so we should be able to access all the online records. I look forward to going in and trying it out.
If your ancestors come from Staffordshire, have you looked at the Staffordshire name index published by Staffordshire & Stoke on Trent archive service. As my husband’s Cotterill’s come from Staffordshire, I look every now and again to see if any Cotterill’s that I have missed. https://www.staffsnameindexes.org.uk/
Oxfordshire family history Society will be hosting a *free* family history Zoomfair on Saturday 2nd October 2021 which we will be attending.
There will be a selection of breakout rooms which will be hosted by partnering family history societies and other organisations. You may visit as many rooms as you wish in your session.
There will be two sessions: morning and afternoon, London time. Do register for either or both sessions, so you can join in and partake in what we hope we will be informative and lively chats about family history research.
Visit the OFHS website Zoomfair page to see the latest news and confirmed societies, and to register for the event. Https://www.ofhs.uk/news/ofhs-fair-2-october-2021
The Family History Federation will once again be holding A Really Useful Show online on 12-13 November. For further information go to: www.fhf-reallyuseful.com where you will find a comprehensive list of speakers.
Don’t forget to send our Editor, Linda, any articles for the Midland Ancestor journal. The next one is due out at the end of November. The deadline is 1 November 2021.
Finally, I know many of our Birmingham members will know Milly Ashford. Sadly Milly died recently. She was well into her 90s and was not only a long-time member she was also known as the ‘queen of the photocopier’. Milly turned her hand to anything. Lovely person, she will be sadly missed.
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Midland Ancestors is the public face of the Birmingham & Midland Society for Genealogy and Heraldry which is a Registered Charity, number 505916. Registered Office: Birmingham & Midland Institute, Margaret Street, Birmingham B2 2BS