My third digest of information from a week in the Twittersphere is a packed one, with lots of links to local and family history goodies which should be of interest to one-placers. As ever, please note that the inclusion of links to commercial websites below does not imply endorsement by the Society of the products or services offered unless otherwise stated.


Scottish GENES: Kirk session records to be added to ScotlandsPeople in 2021.

Discounts, offers, and a competition

In addition to those mentioned last week which are still valid…

Unlocking the Past: The Local Historian Index and Abstracts, 1952-1999. A “comprehensive index” of the journal of the British Association for Local History, with “with a CD Rom of abstracts and an introductory essay” is currently on special offer: £3.50 (£3 to BALH members) plus £2.50 postage and packing. Back issues of The Local Historian itself are available to download for free.

Christmas Competition: The Historic Occupations Quiz. A very appropriate quiz for one-placers given our 2020 Shared Endeavour theme of employment and occupations in our Places! “Every entrant who gets at least one correct answer will be entered into a prize draw to win a hardback copy of Just the Job: How Trades Got Their Names by Alexander Tulloch”.

New and updated records and finding aids

Findmypast (£): Additions to the Yorkshire Monumental Inscriptions, US Obituary Notices, and the Ireland Billion Graves Cemetery Index record sets headline this week's FindMyPast updates. Lots of extra newspaper pages too. Check out Explore millions of new death and cemetery records for full details.

Ancestry (£): In amongst all of the updated record sets there have been several new ones added over the last week. These feature records from the USA (various states and record types), Norway (1870 and 1875 censuses), and France (censuses for Rhône and Belfort, Alsace, 1836-1911). Check out New and Updated for the full picture.

The Genealogist (£): More College and University registers containing records of a quarter of a million individuals have been added. They are primarily from Britain and Ireland but new registers from the Netherlands, New Zealand and Portugal also feature. For more info see New Education Records Released.

The British Newspaper Archive (£) has added nearly 85,000 pages from 12 newspapers over the last week, including eight new titles from Leicester, East Kent, Stockton-on-Tees (Northern Weekly Gazette), Blackpool, Bridlington, Atherstone & Nuneaton, Brighouse & Rastrick, and Warrington. Newspaper Titles for the last 7 days has all the details.

London Metropolitan Archives: Switching the Lens is a dataset which “draws on records of individuals from Anglican parish registers at London Metropolitan Archives” to “[refocus] our attention on Londoners of African, Caribbean, Asian and Indigenous heritage.” See Switching the Lens - Rediscovering Londoners of African, Caribbean, Asian and Indigenous Heritage 1561 to 1840.

EThOS (E-Theses Online Service): The British Library’s catalogue of over 500,000 doctoral theses, many of which are available for download, has been enhanced by the addition of links to 22,000 theses from 1900 to 1970 in a British History Online dataset (see PhD –> BHO –> BL –> PhD: linking British History Online’s thesis data to the British Library). A quick search of EThOS for ‘Shropshire’, limited to results with items available for download, yields several theses likely to be relevant to my one-place study in that county (on subjects such as agriculture, education and transport).

National Library of Scotland: A new dataset comprising of nearly 1,800 broadsides printed in Scotland has been launched and is available for download. Broadsides were “single sheet items printed on one side only; they were designed to be read unfolded and posted up in public places”; learn more about them and this dataset at Broadsides printed in Scotland 1650-1910.

New and interesting books and other products

Internet Sites For Local Historians : A Directory. The fifth edition of this guide, containing a thousand entries, has been published this month by the British Association for Local History. “There are place and subject indexes and a useful brief introduction. The subjects included cover a very wide range, and will prove invaluable to historians of many disciplines – family, social, architectural, regional and local.” £10 plus postage. Part of a range of Local History Books offered by BALH.

Family Historian 7. If you use Family Historian for your family trees and/or for the trees of your one-place study, version 7 has now been released.

New and interesting websites

Mapping the Scottish Reformation. A new site enabling a map-based exploration of the careers of Scottish clergy between 1560 and 1689. Initial data is from presbyteries in the Synod of Lothian and Tweeddale; ultimately the site will “provide and visualize data on the careers of the clergy from all regions of Scotland.”

Catholic Archives Catalogue. A new site hosting catalogues for smaller Irish Catholic archives (five archives at launch with more to come).

Causes and Consequences of Electoral Violence. I was already aware of the widespread violence and intimidation connected with Victorian-era elections. Until this week though, I had no idea that there was a website and Twitter account (@VictorianEV_UK) dedicated to exploring the subject, with coverage up to 1914.

Nottinghamshire Nursing History Group. A new website “dedicated to raising awareness of the history of nursing in Nottinghamshire and to identify and profile the many individual nurses who have contributed to this history.”

LincsAbout.Town. The website for Lincolnshire’s Extensive Urban Survey (EUS). This project aims to produce 30 reports for towns in Lincolnshire by September 2021, documenting their historical and archaeological background, and analysing their character.

Know Your Place - Bristol. Map-based access to photos, drawings, postcards and other pictorial material relating to Bristol, along with details of monuments, collections, heritage assets, oral histories, stories and other material relating to WW1 and WW2, and much more. Includes community contributed items.

Connected Histories: British History Sources, 1500-1900. Suggested by Pam Smith, a big fan of record linkage in one-place studies, this website “brings together a range of digital resources related to early modern and nineteenth century Britain with a single federated search that allows sophisticated searching of names, places and dates.”

County Clare Library: Local Studies Centre. The Centre has host of resources for researching the people and places of County Clare, and increasing number of which are being digitised and made available online.

Migration across the seas (a summary of this week’s #ANZAncestryTime Twitter chat) – on the Oér The Seas We Go website.

New academic paper

The regulation of midwives in England, c.1500–1902, by Sarah Fox and Margaret Brazier (open access). The authors “show that the history of the regulation of midwives across four centuries casts light on the interplay between formal and informal regulation and matters of gender and professional status.”

New blog posts and web pages

A scribbled address helped us find my GI grandfather (on the Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine website). Our member Daniel Smith-Ramos tells the story of how he and his father tracked down records of Daniel’s grandfather, and made contact with living relatives.

Doing your family history online – 50 best websites for family history (on the Family Tree Magazine website). Fifty fabulous (and mainly free) websites for family history, and by extension one-place studies too.

WiciPics (on the National Library of Wales website). Details of a new crowdsourcing project aimed at documenting the built heritage of Wales through photography and Wikipedia articles.

A Berkshire Boyhood (on the Genealogy Jude website). A great example of how records and images can be interwoven with memoirs to build up a picture of a person's life in a particular place and its community.

St John’s Gate, Clerkenwell – A Brief Introduction (on the A London Inheritance blog). Despite the title, this introduction to an historic priory in Clerkenwell is actually quite detailed! There are plenty of pictures too.

A Look at the History of Britain’s Extreme Winter Weather (on the British Newspaper Archive website). How people from around Britain coped (or didn’t cope) with extreme snowfall and sub-zero temperatures in the 1800s and 1900s.


Bad Bridget, from Queen's University Belfast and University of Ulster. These podcasts (five so far, plus an introduction or ‘trailer’) tell “the untold stories of generations of Irish women” from 1838 to 1918 who migrated to north America but got in trouble with the law and “saw their American Dream become a nightmare.” The link takes to your podcast’s home on Spotify, but it can also be downloaded / listened to via other platforms.

Videos and recorded presentations

In addition to those mentioned last week (and the week before) which have yet to take place…

Explore Your Archive: Unravelling Local History Building Plans – on the Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives YouTube channel. Building plans and building control files – how they were acquired, how they are conserved, and what research opportunities they present.

Alan Watson Seminar in Legal History: Civil Litigants in Nineteenth-Century Sheriff Courts – on the University of Edinburgh Media Hopper Create website. A presentation by Fergus Smith, independent researcher at, hosted by the Centre for Legal History, Edinburgh Law School. You can also view the index to the Sheriff Court Extract Decrees referred to in the talk.

Archives Portal Europe at History Day 2020 – on the Archives Portal Europe YouTube channel. An introduction to the Portal (which holds archival information from over 7,000 institutions in 34 countries), its current status, and a preview of its forthcoming redesign.

Ten-Minute Talks – from the British Association for Local History. Short talks on a variety of local history topics, including “The railway and how it affected life in mid-nineteenth century Rillington” by our member Pam Smith.

Liverpool: Mercantile City (£) – presented by The Victorian Society on 7 December 2020. Joseph Sharples discusses the development of the great port on the River Mersey through its buildings. A recording of this talk can be accessed for £5 via Crowdcast.

The David Parr House - An Extraordinary Cambridge Home (£) – presented by The Victorian Society on 10 December 2020. David Parr, a ‘decorator artist’, decorated churches and palaces for a living – “and decorated his humble terrace house in the same style.” Find out more about David and his house through the recording of this talk, for £5 via Crowdcast.

Forthcoming events and courses

MyHeritage Online Events for December. Facebook Live sessions, an Instagram Live session, and Zoom webinars from MyHeritage during December 2020.

Organising Your Research With Evernote (Free). To be presented by Phil Isherwood for the Guild of One Name Studies on 17 December 2021. Phil will explain how Evernote can be used for note-taking, organising, task management and archiving, with a focus on genealogy and one name studies.

Top Level Tips webinars (Free). To be presented by The National Archives (UK) during January and February 2021, these half-hour webinars cover subjects including local history, WW1 army records, railway staff records, and how to use Discovery. Follow the link for dates and details.

The Art and Science of Québec Genealogy ($). A virtual conference from the Québec Genealogy eSociety, to be held 14-17 January 2021. Over 20 English and French sessions presented live, $10 CAD per session.

Scottish Indexes Conference (Free, donations requested). To be presented by Scottish Indexes on 30 January 2021. Speakers will include Helen Tovey, Emma Maxwell, Chris Paton and Fiona Musk.

Tall-ship Tales from the Great British Pub (Free). To be presented by buildings archaeologist James Wright for Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Libraries. James looks at the facts behind “one of the most tenacious mediaeval building myths” – “that many timber-framed buildings were constructed from salvaged ship timbers.”

And finally…

I was intrigued to read on Twitter that “Former Israeli space security chief Haim Eshed has revealed that aliens from a ‘Galactic Federation’ have been in contact with the US and Israel for years, but humanity isn't ready to know this.” Of course, my response was that the Society is standing by to accept applications from our first extra-terrestrial members, and registrations for one-place studies across the galaxy!

Having my last News from the Twittersphere with a video, I will do the same again this time. My choice this week is a seasonal one, Archive To Armchair: Winter Wonderland from East Riding Libraries, Museums and Archives.


Steve Jackson
Social Media Coordinator

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