Well I’m back – did you miss me?
I am going to start by drawing your attention to the forthcoming AGM on Wednesday, 4 May at 2pm being held back in situ at the Birmingham & Midland Institute, Margaret Street, Birmingham. This will hopefully be a hybrid meeting with an audience in the room and those joining us on Zoom. It will be lovely to see you all back in the room with us.
Over the last two years Societies such as ours have had to change and adapt, and we need to keep up with changing trends, so we need more members involved with the organisation and running of the Society.
If you think you think you can make a difference in the running of the Society, why not become a Trustee and join the Exec Committee? Now that all the committee meetings are held via zoom, it does not matter where you live, your contribution will be greatly appreciated. Remember this is your Society and your input is greatly appreciated.
Following the AGM Andrew Lound will give us a talk on the ‘Lunatick’ Astronomy – Boulton and the Lunar Society. If you have never heard one of Andrew’s talks before, he certainly enters into the spirit of his talk, so please join us if you can. I will say no more!!
Looking through my programme booklet, I see I have missed some really interesting talks, but there are others coming up which equally sound as interesting. Full details are in the yellow programme booklet or can be found on the Society’s website.
Talking of the website, whilst I was away I didn’t completely ignore the Society. I did keep in touch through our Facebook pages but didn’t have my email switched on. I found it very difficult to log on to the Society’s website and wondered if this was ‘just me’ or do other members abroad have the same trouble. Let me know if you do and which search engine you use as this makes a difference apparently.
There was a programme on the television last week about the children’s emigration service to Canada and Australia. This was the scheme to send supposedly orphaned children overseas for a better life. In many cases this did not materialise. Although this is not related to that programme, 2022 marks the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Children’s Emigration Homes in Highgate, founded by John Middlemore. Between the years 1873 and 1954 over 5000 children were sent chiefly to Canada but also to Australia. Over 100,000 children were emigrated in total by many different agencies.
From July The Lost Children project will be hosting a number of events to celebrate these events. Further details can be obtained from Val Hart of the Balsall Heath Local History Society
Facebook: Balsall Heath Local History Society and lostchildrenproject
There have been many comments on social media about the mistakes, errors, call them what you will in the 1921 census on FMP. Many people have questioned why the censuses are not transcribed and released by the Government. In Peter Calver’s recent newsletter he cites the 1901 census as a good example why the Government is not involved.
The 1901 census was released to great acclaim, whereby the site promptly crashed and there were so many transcription errors, etc. in it, it was nearly a year before it was released again. I well remember that the funniest thing I ever found about the census was the biggest surname block was ‘ditto’. Apparently questions about it were raised in the House of Commons. I do have some sympathy with FMP and all those transcribers, it is not easy reading difficult handwriting when you are not used to it.
Society of Genealogists
In order to try and encourage young researchers, the Society of Genealogists are holding a one day conference on Saturday 7 May starting at 8am. Non members of the Society are welcome. There is a full day programme of events. Cost GBP1.50
There are also a number of other courses and events being held in May, some being recorded. The one I am interested in is being held on Wednesdays, 11 May 22 June 6:00-7:30pm
What to do with your Family History – 7 Week evening course
Researching a family history generates a plethora of documents, photographs, stories and information. What should you do with it all? This 7-week evening course looks at how to store and share your family history, how to preserve the documents both physical and digital and how to write the stories which have been uncovered.
What will the course cover?
· Creating a personal archive
· Preparing your research for deposit
· Writing the stories of your ancestors
· Creating source citations
· Conservation and preservation of family collections
· Considerations when leaving research in your will
· Writing a biography
Cost for 7 weeks study: £140.00/£112.00 SoG Members.
1950 USA census
On Friday 1 April 2022, records from the 1950 United States census will be released. The USA release their census records after 72 years instead of the 100 years here. Details regarding access are available from the National Archives and Records Administration: https://www.archives.gov/research/census/1950. This census may be of use in finding the whereabouts of “GI brides” who travelled to USA are the War.
Apparently, data recognition software was used to transcribe the records, which may have produced results not quite as bad as the 1921 census, but they are now asking for volunteers to check through the census to correct mistakes. The records are available on Ancestry and My Heritage, but they are not indexed.
Society of Australian Genealogists
The Society of Australian Genealogists are holding a virtual conference on 18 June. Entitled “In Search of… My English Ancestors”
They are looking for suggestions on what sessions to provide. If you are interested, please contact them via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find other Webinars events and course see www.sag.org.au
Local Population Studies Society – Free Workshop & Newsletter
I know this is not strictly Family History, but I am always interested in local population studies and material produced by this Society which proved very useful when I did my Degree through the Open University back in the Dark Ages.
The Spring workshop and AGM will be held via Zoom on 28 May 2022 the subject of which is their project Back to the 404 parishes and beyond ….
A study back in 1981 covered a sample of 404 parishes that were analysed by local population historians. Since then data for many more parish registers that were not among the original 404 have been transcribed and rendered machine readable.
LPSS is hoping to make all the 404 data available via its website and is beginning a new project to gradually augment the database with new additional parishes, whilst ensuring that the data format and quality remain consistent with the original 404.
Sounds interesting …..
As well as that, you might like to take a look at the current Newsletter as there is a very interesting article on ‘New online resources for Methodist history and genealogy’ by Philip Thornborow. The article cites two books produced on the subject of records available, one of which was by our very own member Richard Ratcliffe entitled ‘Methodist Records for Family Historians (Bury, 2014)’. (A copy should be in our Reference library and may be available via the online Shop)
Back In 2010 the Methodist Church of Great Britain set up Methodist Heritage to manage four accredited museums owned by the Church, caring for the records of the Church. There is a website http://www.methodistheritage.org.uk which contains a section on researching, including advice on Researching Methodist History and Researching Family History. In the former category, you will find an online guide to all the primary and secondary resources on Methodism currently freely available online. You will also find contact details for the Methodist Heritage Officer, and the Liaison Officer for Methodist Archives who provide advice.
Further on in the newsletter there is an article entitled FreeREG and Black Country Church, Chapel & Cemetery Registers Online by Dale Braden (Staffordshire Coordinator, FreeREG. email@example.com)
Although the article is remarkably interesting on the workings of FreeReg, Dale was introducing another website that I mentioned in my last newsletter. Black Country & Greater Potteries Area – Church, Chapel and Cemetery Registers online. I have not looked at it myself, but feel it will be a great help with burial records.
Well that is all for now, must get back to the day job! If you think of any sites, publications, etc. that you think our members would be interested in, please let me know and don’t forget to send Linda your articles for the magazine.