HAPPY NEW YEAR
Well I hope it will be a Happy New Year as personally 2021 was a disaster and Christmas was even more disastrous. I won’t bore you with the details, suffice to say in the words of the song “Things can only get better”.
This will only be a short newsletter as I just wanted to tell you about decisions that have had to made about meeting up in January.
Firstly, the Family History Centre will not now open until Monday 10 Jan. This is due to the rising infection rates and the omicron variant and to keep our volunteer librarians safe when they travel backwards and forward into Birmingham city centre.
The reopening decision will be dependent on any government restrictions or guidance that may be in place at that time, so please check before you travel.
If you wish to visit the Family History Centre after that date, please remember that you need to use the online booking in system. To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org
We also have two meeting cancellations for January. Paul Handford’s talk on The Friends Ambulance Unit scheduled for Saturday 15 January at the BMI in Birmingham will not now take place. This is due to the uncertainty of what the Government intends doing in the New Year about placing further restrictions on us.
Also cancelled is the visit to the Foundling Museum on 8 January organised by our London Group and again is due to the large numbers of covid cases in London. The London Group’s next meeting will be on 2 April at their new home, Wesley’s Chapel and Leysian Mission in City Road, London. (See programme booklet or website for details).
On the plus side, most of our other Groups will be holding their meetings later in January or on Zoom, full details are either in the programme booklet or on the website.
Kenilworth Group are holding their monthly meetings on Zoom up until April, mainly due to the dark nights. Full details are in the programme booklet.
On Wed 26th January Myko Clelland from FMP will be telling us how to get the best out of the 1921 census. Time 2pm – 4pm. Booking arrangements are now open on this website under events or follow this link – 1921 Census
As you know this will be the last census for a while. The 1931 census was destroyed during WW2 and there wasn’t a 1941 census, so the next one will be the 1951. I don’t think I will be around to see that released!
Thank you to those members who came up with suggestions for my elusive Millward family. They must have come from somewhere, but where I have no idea! Apart from Worcestershire, there are a great many in South Wales, Derbyshire and Warwickshire. So it is a bit like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
My daughter has pointed out that there are some trees on Ancestry that go back further than I have done, but as I pointed out to her: A. you don’t know if the information is true and B. whether it has been proved. I’m afraid that I don’t believe anything I cannot prove myself.
One thing I meant to mention during my talk was that one of my ‘remote’ ancestors was tried at the Old Bailey for murdering his wife. He was a boatman travelling back from London and apparently when two barges using horses pass each other there is a well-known system to do so, but that didn’t happen in this case and his wife was knocked into the canal and was drowned. He was accused of her murder but was acquitted on the evidence of the other boatman. I must admit that I didn’t find this by chance, this was another ‘tale’ told to me by my aunt which, of course, I had to investigate. Old Bailey records are available on line: Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 1674-1913 online. https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/ Something else that you may not be aware of, is that individuals who intended to serve food and alcoholic beverages in a public house had to apply for an annual licence. From 1522, a person wanting to sell alcoholic drinks had to apply for a licence from the Quarter or Petty Sessions and it is from these courts records that most publican records originate. Most records and documents are held at County Record Offices and are arranged by the name of the pub and not the name of the publican. Trade and street directories as well as electoral registers can help track down the name of the pub and location. Simon Fowler, who is a long-established author and editor in the world of family history publications has written a very comprehensive book called Researching Brewery and Publican Ancestors. It costs £5.95 and is available through our online bookshop.
Can I remind you that your subscription is due on 1 January. The cost is still £14.50 and there is a renewal form in the December journal, or you can renew via the online shop or better still set up a regular payment via your bank. If you bank on line this is quite easy to do.
That all folks, Happy New Year to you all. Hopefully 2022 will be better than 2021.