Welcome to Newsletter No. 5
The Trustees held an online meeting to discuss the viability of Groups re-opening. After consulting with our Groups, it was decided that all Groups would continue to be closed, including the Family History Centre in Birmingham, until at least the New Year. The Trustees will meet again in November to review the situation and then make a further decision.
Normally the Society’s Annual General Meeting is held in May. However, for obvious reasons, this year’s AGM was cancelled and the Trustees have been discussing how they can facilitate safely holding the AGM. As the Society is a charity, we must be guided by the Charities Commission who have said that we should hold an AGM when safe to do so. As it is unlikely we will be back to normal anytime soon, the Trustees have considered all options and have decided that the safest and easiest option would be to hold the 2021 AGM on our normal date of 5 May 2021. This will allow time for the present situation to resolve itself so we don’t have to alter the date.
We are continuing with our online talks for October. Full details are on the Society’s website under Events. All events start at 2pm UK time. Registration for each talk will open 7 days before the event.
On Wednesday, 7 October: Online Event – Writing Your Family History @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Mike Sharpe, Chairman of our Bromsgrove Group; a professional researcher and genealogist will be describing how to build basic facts about your family into an engaging narrative.
On Wednesday 21st October: Online Event – The 1939 Register @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Member Ann Simcock will explain to us how the Register came about and how it can be used to assist with researching our more recent ancestry. She will also highlight some of the frustrations associated with its use.
The Bromsgrove Group will be using Zoom for the rest of its 2020 meetings. As members of the Society, you are all entitled to attend any of the groups’ meetings, and this would also apply to the online talks.
On 13 October 7.30pm: John Butterworth will be talking about the Boer War
You can register for this event by going to www.bromsgrovebmsgh.co.uk and following the link.
I have been asked about accessibility to these talks via our website. Some of the talks, such as the ones that I and Mark Thursfield present belong to the Society, so we can publish those. The others, given by outside speakers, are the intellectual property of the speakers themselves and it depends on whether they will give us permission to publish.
POLICEMAN OF BIRMINGHAM
Was your ancestor a policeman within our area? If so, you might like to look at this video of all the fallen officers from West Midlands Police and its predecessor forces: Coventry City Police, Wolverhampton Borough Police, Walsall Borough Police, Birmingham City Police and Dudley Borough Police, as well as members of the Night Watch, who died whilst on duty or in relation to their police duty
UK’S BIGGEST DIG
If you are in the UK you will be aware of the building of the HS2, a railway line running from London to Birmingham and beyond. One of the consequences of this build is that along the way many churchyards and cemeteries are having to be excavated and the bodies reinterred somewhere else.
The excavation of two of these cemeteries has been filmed and can be seen on BBC iPlayer, and is also available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIL-HT1YNJ0
The London site, St. James Churchyard, contained an estimated 50,000 bodies and one of which, which will be of interest to our Australian Members is explorer Matthew Flinders who first circumnavigated Australia and who the Flinders ranges and the wonderful Flinders railway station in Melbourne are named after. The whole churchyard had been grassed over and made into a park, so nobody really knew where he was buried. Luckily, his coffin had a wonderful breast plate, so he could be identified.
At the other end of the line, Park Street cemetery was an overspill cemetery to St. Martin’s parish church containing many pauper graves. It was first opened in 810 and closed in 1873 and contains over 6,500 bodies, mainly from the poor of the City. It brought back memories for one of our members, David Pullar, who transcribed the burial records for the Society.
As you are aware all fairs, shows, etc. (including our own) have been cancelled for this year. Now what do we do with the spare time?
A couple of events coming up that you may be interested in:
The Family History Federation Really Useful Family History Show virtual family history event is on 14 November 2020. Early bird tickets are available now for £5 (up until the end of October) and includes a virtual “goody bag”. The list of speakers that I have been sent are impressive, so if this is of interest to you go to https://www.fhf-reallyuseful.com/
RootsTech, is a genealogy conference organised by Familysearch and normally held at Salt Lake City each year, although there was an event in London this year. Because of the present pandemic restrictions, RootsTech Connect will be a free virtual event online from Thursday 25 to Saturday 27 February 2021.
I must admit I have not attended a RootsTech event, I have always found the tickets expensive, especially adding to it travel costs, so in order to take advantage of this being free, I have already booked up for this event on line. According to the website: “There will inspiring keynote speakers as well as a virtual marketplace where visitors will be able to discover a variety of family history tools. Although all classes and webinars will be free to watch, participants will still need to reserve a place at the conference via www.RootsTech.org.
BRITISH HOME CHILDREN DAY – 28 SEPTEMBER
Today is British Home Children Day and if you are looking for a child sent to Canada between 1869 to 1939 (1948 to British Columbia), there is a register you can search. The webpage is http://britishhomechildrenregistry.com/
The deadline for the December edition of The Midland Ancestor is 5th October, so if you have a story you would like to tell, or even just a snippet of a few lines, then email Linda Newey a line on firstname.lastname@example.org.