Now that Christmas is well and truly behind us, my thoughts turn to our forthcoming anniversary lunch at the Tally Ho, Birmingham. In the March journal you will find a copy of the menu choices for you to pick one of each selection. The cost is £30 per head. This is slightly up on what I thought simply because there is a more choice. If you make your cheques payable to Midland Ancestors/BMSGH I can make one payment to Tally Ho.
Interestingly, I looked back at our 50th Anniversary lunch and that was also £30 per head for a set meal so this seems good value. (You can look back at the old issues of Midland Ancestor by going to the Members section of the website).
We had a very interesting talk by Sharon Hintze of FamilySearch recently in Birmingham. Sharon’s talk was about ‘What was new in FamilySearch’. Did you know that FamilySearch is the biggest genealogical organisation in the World, covering the world, but only about 2% of their holdings have been digitalised.
Sharon introduced us to two members of the church who are here for two years. They were undertaking a research project here, which has unfortunately fallen through. They are willing to come into the BMI and demonstrate ‘what’s new’ in FamilySearch as well as to revamp our library catalogue, so you might see them in the library.
The library is fully staffed again and open five days a week, although we could do with back up librarians – see my article below.
Now we are back to physical meetings, we don’t want to forget our members who cannot attend group meetings, so we are holding Zoom self-help Workshops on the third Wednesday of every second month (Feb, Apr, June, Aug (possibly), Oct and Dec with topics suggested by members, such as brick walls, new internet websites, etc. Starting at 2pm. See calendar on website for details.
This does not mean that we won’t be holding any more Zoom meetings, it is just nice to see our members again!
Because of the ongoing train strikes, all meetings may be subject to change, so please keep in touch the Group you attend or check on the website.
FORTHCOMING GROUP MEETINGS
BIRMINGHAM – 4 FEBRUARY 2pm
Kingsley Norris Memorial Lecture – Genealogy Modelling Kinship – are we related?
Given by Dr. Alan C. Smith FinstP FIET FRAS
NORTH STAFFORDSHIRE – 6TH FEB AT 7.30PM – PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF DATE
Dianne Shenton says, “It is a research evening, but I will take my computer with the new Roots Magic 8 programme and if enough people are interested we can play around with it and look at some of the online tutorials”.
KENILWORTH – 8 Feb 7.30pm
The wives and daughters of the Lunar Society
Talk given by Dr. Kate Croft, CWMH
BROMSGROVE – Tue 14th February @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm GMT
A Fascinating Family History
Given by well-known genealogist, Vanessa Morgan
WOLVERHAMPTON: Wed 22nd February @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm GMT
Member’s Research Evening
STOURBRIDGE: SAT 25TH FEBRUARY @ 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM GMT
‘The Diggum Uppers’
Online – Members Self Help Workshops
Wed 15th February @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
(Other dates are proposed – see Website for more details)
National Archives Introductory Session Cost £5
Sat 18 February – 10:00 – 12:30pm (Please note date incorrect in the December journal)
Cost is just £5 in advance which can be considered as part payment for a seat on either of the next two coaches to Kew.
Places are limited and booking is required. To book a place email Phil Lamb on email@example.com
This of course leads to reintroduction of the coach trips to National Archives. The dates are 18 March, 20 May, 9 September and 14 October. Seat prices are £26.00. If you are interested in going, email Phil on firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction to Family History Research – Cannock Library
This FREE five week course, held at on Monday afternoons beginning at 1.30 p.m.
Places are limited and booking is required. To book a place please call the library direct on 01543 334 530.
Breaking down Family History Brick Walls – U3A
Wednesday 8 February 2pm
If you are a member of U3A, these sessions may be useful. Toni Neoboard is hosting three sessions looking at family history for beginners. To apply to join go to
ROOTSTECH by Familysearch is back again in March – 2nd – 4th. If you have not attended, it is free with over 300 classes and 100plus speakers. Full details can be found via the Familysearch website.
MIDLAND ANCESTORS SHOP
Just in case you don’t get Steve Freeman’s shop newsletter, he is having a grand sale on all book stock including Staffordshire Parish Register Societies (SPRS) remaining stock of books and some of the Midland Ancestors books. He also has a large selection of second hand books for sale.
The shop also sells books by other publishers. The Eureka partnership publishes unusual and lesser known material such as Canal Boat Records, Nonconformist Registers, Workhouse Records and Pre 1841 Census Data. Other publishers include Shire Books, Coventry FHS, Brewin Books, Women’s Research Group – books about Coventry Women and Cassini maps.
REQUEST FOR VOLUNTEERS
I don’t know if most of you are aware, but our Society hosts the Staffordshire and West Midlands BMD site, which are part of the Local BMD Project group of Family History and Genealogy web sites.
This is a collaboration with the local Registration Services to make the indexes to these records freely searchable via the Internet.
A new project has been launched involving Kingston on Thames Registrars, but they need volunteers. I have been asked to mention it to our London or Southeast members to see if they would like to volunteer to help. It involves photographing the birth, marriage and death indexes, then checking the typed indexes against the registers themselves. If you can spare a few hours a week to do this, please contact Steve on email@example.com
Talking of volunteers, you will see in the next journal a plea for more volunteers to take on key rolls within the Society. I know that most people think that organisations such as ours run themselves, but they don’t, they need all those background staff to ensure it runs smoothly and we need willing volunteers to do that. I see that the Catholic Family History Society, as well as some others, have disbanded simply because they could not get enough volunteers.
The same could happen to our Society. We have eight Groups and I know that most if not all are not only struggling to attract members back again, but also get helpers to run the Groups. It’s not hard; put out chairs, greet members at the door, make the tea if necessary, all simple things that most of us have done for whichever group we have belonged to.
If you are really ‘brave’ you could offer to stand at committee level, and there’s nothing difficult in that. All our Groups are run by a committee which organise meetings, outings, etc. and I am sure they would welcome you with open arms.
The Society’s main AGM is held at the Birmingham’s meeting on May 13 (note change of date) and more committee members are needed to help organise how our Society is run. If you don’t like the way the Society is run, or have any suggestions on how we could make it better, either tell us or better still, stand for the committee.
I’ll get off my soap box now!
This is particularly relevant this week, The Arolsen Archives are an international documentation centre on Nazi persecution and the liberated survivors. The world’s most comprehensive archive on the victims and survivors of National Socialism preserves documents about concentration camp prisoners, foreign forced labourers and the post-war registration of Displaced Persons (DPs). There are now over 30 million documents in the Arolsen Archives which provide information about more than 17.5 million people. Further information can be found on https://collections.arolsen-archives.org/
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 can help, Rob can be contacted on Robcarter@hotmail.com.
Finally, keep an eye out for the next edition of WDYTYA? magazine, there could be an article on Worcestershire Records and you might see us mentioned in it.