Last month I announced that we had good news, with the restrictions on the library being lifted. Unfortunately after our last meeting in Birmingham, some of our members and librarians went down with covid.
Restrictions have not been re-introduced, but can I remind you all that if you are feeling unwell, it is safer to stay at home. Although national restrictions have been lifted, it is still up to us all to try and keep each other safe. Take a test if you want to, wear a mask, sanitize your hands, we need to try and make sure that everybody that comes to our meetings or to the library are as safe as we can possibly be.
Although traditionally August is our holiday month, the library will still be open daily apart from the Bank holiday Monday/Tuesday at the end of the month. The library hours are Monday to Friday10:15 – 12:30 and 12:45 – 15:00.
The librarians on duty each day are:
Monday – Liz & Steve
Tuesday – Bernie & Gareth
Wednesday – Sue & Linda
Thursday – Mark & Pat
Friday – Caroline
Changes to these opening days and times take place when a bank holiday occurs, sometimes including even the Tuesday. If travelling from a distance you are advised to check first, preferably a few days in advance. You can do so by phoning 0121 236 8977.
Full details can be seen on the Society website, https://midland-ancestors.uk/about/libraries/
As you may know, we are also a FamilySearch Affiliate Library, and last week I was on temporary duty and had chance to view their images. Unfortunately, some of what I wanted to look for was not there, so it will be a trip to the Record Office for me, but there were many that helped me, especially records from far flung places.
Last Saturday, I also went on a tour of the catacombs in Key Hill and Warstone Lane run by the Friends of KH&WL. I have always wanted to see inside although no bodies (ghoulish as I am), but the tunnels themselves were very atmospheric. Richard, our guide, did a wonderful job painting such a graphic picture of their use. When money allows, they are hoping that more of the tunnels will be uncovered. It is thought that in Key Hill there is the remains of a disused lift that was used to drop the coffins down from the chapel into the catacombs. You can see pictures on their Twitter page https://twitter.com/FriendsKHandWL
There are more tours planned, so keep an eye on our Facebook page.
North Staffs Group
Rob Carter of our North Staffs Group has asked for help photographing headstones and internal monuments of churches in the North Staffs area. This has been an ongoing project of Rob’s for many years, but it is not something he can do on his own. If you are able to help, Rob can be contacted on Robcarter@hotmail.com.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
Sunday 25 September 2022 10:00 – 16:00 – The Birmingham Local and Family History Fair
This is a Society event and so far we have 35+ tables featuring community groups, history groups, genealogy groups, small commercials, postcards, photographs, memorabilia, books, souvenirs and local artwork.
Phil is currently looking for some assistance with distribution of flyers for this event. He has identified about 70 libraries in and around the city with display facilities. He has a list of them but he won’t be able to get to them all. Already 15 members have volunteered to assist and that has been most welcome but he could do with more help in some postcode areas. You might get an email from him. If you do and you can help it would be much appreciated.
You can see a flyer for the event here – https://birminghamhistoryfair.uk/about
And a list of exhibitors here – https://birminghamhistoryfair.uk/exhibitors-in-2022/
Heritage Weekend – 17 September.
As I have already mentioned The Friends of Key Hill and Warstone Lane Cemeteries will be at Warstone Lane Cemetery on 17 September. If you are interested in going on one of their very popular walks, you will need to book early.
Further details can be found on http://www.fkwc.org/
Bookings are by Eventbrite.
I shall also be there manning a table promoting the Society. Don’t know what will be on it yet, but if you would like to come along to help, please let me know.
SoG lunchtime talk
I know this may seem a bit far off, but I just wanted you tell you about this event as I don’t know how popular it will be.
Caroline Mason, who many of you may know via the library or online, has kindly agreed to speak at one of the Society of Genealogy lunchtime talks about tracing Midlands Ancestors and our Society on 12 October (2-3:30). Lori Weinstein of the SoG advises that this event is only normally open to SoG members, but they will allow members of Midlands Ancestors to attend for a registration fee of £1.50.
If you are interested in attending, the booking link is here:
Friday 11 November 6:00pm – 10:00pm GMT and Saturday 12 November 10:00am – 6:00pm GMT – Really Useful online Family History Show
Organised by the Family History Federation
Full details can be found on www.fhf-reallyuseful.com
NEWS FROM NATIONAL ARCHIVES
Nearly 100,000 more Second World War service records are now available to order from The National Archives in Kew, including records from the Royal Army Veterinary Corps.
The series, ‘War Office: Selected Smaller Corps Other Ranks: Service Records’, has the reference number WO 421. It can be searched via TNA’s online catalogue Discovery at discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C17682287.
The series consists of 94,234 service records of soldiers (excluding officers) who served in the Army Air Corps; the Royal Army Veterinary Corps; the Royal Military Police or Corps of Military Police; the Royal Army Pay Corps; the Royal Army Physical Training Corps; the Military Provost Staff Corps; the Royal Corps of Army Music; the Royal Army Education Corps; the Royal Pioneer Corps; the Intelligence Corps; the Officer Training Corps; and the Non-Combatant Corps. It only includes soldiers who were discharged because they were over age.
In February 2021, the MOD began transferring all 9.7 million historic service records to TNA. In April 2022 the first tranche was released on Discovery, covering the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, in series WO 420. (Thanks to WDYTYA magazine for this information.
The Rothschild Foundation Europe has recently launched Yerusha as a Europe-wide portal for Jewish archival heritage.
It contains descriptions of more than 12,000 collections supplied by institutions in 27 countries, reflecting 1,600 years of Jewish history.
The National Archives contributed 36 catalogue descriptions as part of the Mapping Jewish London project, led by AIM25.
Finally, don’t forget to send Linda our editor anything you have for the Journal. Unfortunately, Linda has gone down with Covid, so the journal may be a little late in being released.
That’s all folks – run out of time! I won’t be around much during August, off visiting Record Offices.