NEWSLETTER NO. 8
Happy New Year! Let’s hope that in 2021 some form of normality will resume to our lives.
I thought I would share with you some very kind words sent to me from Ann Simcock who would like these included in my monthly newsletter.
“I wondered if it would be possible to add a message from myself, and I would imagine, all those of us who have benefited and enjoyed all the Zoom meetings, in your next newsletter to say thank you to Phil for all the time and effort he has put in to make the Zooms possible. I know how much time it takes up to try and sort out the technology. Thank you Phil”.
I would also like to give my thanks to Phil, he has been a star this year! Not only dealing with our Zoom talks (and me!), helping Groups to master Zoom and as Chairman, managing the Society during these difficult times. Our thanks must also go to all the Executive Committee who thought their term of Office ended last May, but because of the pandemic agreed to carry on until the next AGM in May 2021. More about this will be in the March journal.
I would also like to say thank you to all of you who have sent in your good wishes for Christmas and the New Year via our Face Book page. It has been a terrible year, but I hope that we have been able to keep in touch.
The nicest thing is that using Zoom we have been able to reach members from across the world that we don’t normally see. It also amazes me how many of our members have taken on board using Zoom, not just for our Society but other organisations, church services, etc. I think it has opened up the world to an awful lot of people.
The Exec had hoped that our Groups would have been able to re-start for the New Year, but this is not going to happen. Some of our Groups are holding online meetings and talks, details of which will on the Calendar on the website.
I know that the Bromsgrove Group are hoping to put all their talks on Zoom, so look either at their page in the yellow programme booklet, or their website, http://www.bromsgrovebmsgh.co.uk.
Phil has another talk scheduled for January. On 20 January at 2.30pm John Titterton will be talking about ‘Pinpointing the Origin of a Surname’. This presentation looks at surname origins and distribution, explaining how a surname origin can be pinpointed statistically. Doing a one name study, John has traced his surname to a point in North Staffordshire around 1400. This should be interesting; I am looking forward to this.
Full details are shown on the website under the Events/Calendar tab.
Bill Harrison, Chairman of our North Staffs Group, has asked me to tell you that the North Staffs Group Newsletters are online for anyone to read.
There are also some other categories on the website I would like to draw your attention to.
How many of you have filled in your ‘Members Interests’ forms and sent them to Haydn Lewis? When you joined the Society you would have been sent a form to complete. The first ten names on the form would be included in the next available journal, but that does not mean you cannot add or include more names. If you want to add names, either download a form from the Members Area of the website under Useful forms, complete and send to Haydn Lewis, full details on the website or just email Haydn. Although only members of the Society can enter their surname interests, Viewing of the database is open to anyone.
Whilst you are in the Useful forms area, there are lots of other forms and charts you might find useful for your research. They are free to use.
Something else you might be interested in. In the Members Only section you can download back issues of The Midland Ancestor dating back to 1983. There are also two useful indexes, one alphabetical and the other by contributor. This index currently includes the years 1983 (September) to 2020 (March).
I know that we are probably all full of Christmas cheer and good food, but can I remind you that Linda is looking for articles for the March journal. The deadline is 10 January 2021.
I received an email recently from member Robin Bird. Robin is a member of our Birmingham Group. He is researching the names on various war memorials within the Birmingham/West Bromwich area.
He would like to hear from anybody who had ancestors listed on the following WW1 or WW2 Memorials, so he can add their details to those he already has on the memorials.
• City of Birmingham Police Roll of Honour
• George Dixons Grammar School in Birmingham
• Or people from West Bromwich who served in the RAF in WW2.
If you would like to contact me in the first instance, I can pass on your details.
GRO extend birth indexes to 1934
If you use the GRO birth index for England and Wales online, you will know that there is a gap in the indexes. (I normally use the GRO online index and Freebmd to check entries) The GRO have now added all the remaining entries from the registers that have been scanned and indexed, taking them up to 1934.
Unfortunately for the period 1921-1934 it does not show the mother’s maiden name, but the quarterly indexes do. The one reason for using the GRO indexes after 1920 is to find out the full middle names of your relatives, as these are always shown in full; this information is not shown in the quarterly indexes.
Two events for your 2021 Diary!
FHF REALLY USEFUL Virtual Family History Show – Saturday 10th April 2021
The early bird tickets are priced at £7.50.
If you attended the last one and had any suggestions on how to make it better, I hope you made your opinion known to the Federation. It worked well, but I can only say that from the Society point of view, I did not see it from the visitor’s viewpoint. I don’t know if the same format will be repeated, we will have to wait and see, but we are sure to be there again.
Familysearch have announced that RootsTech, will be online for 2021 and will be completely free. The dates are 25-27 February 2021 and to register your interest, go to https://www.rootstech.org/?lang=eng
Well, that is all I have to say for now. If you are celebrating the New Year, please remember social distancing and stay safe.