Tuesday, March 20, 2012

England Research Series: My homework for session 3

This is my homework assignment for session 3 of our Beginning England Research Series held in Second Life at Just Genealogy's fire pit. Our instructor is Claire V. Brisson-Banks. We're meet tonight at 6pm SL time, which is the same as Pacific US time.
ASSIGNMENT: Locate an English county Family History Society and discover what online resources they have freely available and be ready to share those links.
I picked Berkshire, as I've been doing some research in church records on microfilm at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. The online presence of the Berkshire Family History Society is located at http://www.berksfhs.org.uk:
In-Person Resources
  • a Research Centre and bookshop in Reading
  • monthly meetings in six locations open to everyone
  • free outreach sessions in many main libraries across Berkshire
  • The site states "Only Berkshire Family History Society covers all of the pre-1974 Royal County of Berkshire." 
  • The society's Research Centre is next door to Berkshire Record Office - "where you can search the many original records of the county."
  • an online shop
Online Resources 
  • an online discussion list for informed help and advice
  • publications, including indexes and transcriptions of Berkshire's historic records
  • a quarterly magazine Berkshire Family Historian for members
  • Links to experience, advice and support of members worldwide
It seems to me that the records compiled by the Berkshire Family History Society are largely available in CD or book format, and are not searchable online at this time. These titles appeared interesting to me: 

ASSIGNMENT: What records for that county, if any, are available on FamilySearch.org? Take some time to view them and be prepared to ask any questions about the type of record it is and what kind of information is on the record. 
FamilySearch.org Catalog entries for Berkshire, England
FamilySearch.org Historical Records Collections for England
It would appear that other than England Census records (1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911) the majority of my work still needs be accomplished using Family History Library microfilm, fiche and books at the Family History Library.
ASSIGNMENT:  First: View the online class entitled “Getting the Most from the National Archives Website” at http://broadcast.lds.org/elearning/FHD/Community/en/The_National_Archives/Audrey_Collins/Getting_the_Most_from_The_National_Archives_Websit/Player.html (length: 23:25 minutes)
Then answer these questions regarding address: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/

a. Questions concerning this video:
- i. What section would you go into from the first screen to discover available records one’s ancestors would be in?
The "Records" section where there are references to over 1,000 years of government records.
- ii. Investigate one of the ‘short guides’ to learn about a specific record.  As with the example of the Royal Marines Registers of Service, just as you are ready to click to search the collection there are links to:
From here I learned that Charles II established a supply of "trained sea soldiers" as early as 1664. The names this organization has held include:
  • 1664 Duke of York and Albany's Maritime Regiment of Foot
  • 1802 designated 'Royal" by King George III
  • 1885 the Royal Marine Light Infantry was formed
  • 1859 the Royal Marine Artillery
  • 1923 the latter two combined to form the Royal Marine Corps
iii. Under Features-click and review what is available as a podcast or as a video and not any you may wish to listen or watch in the future.  Podcasts are found today in the lower right of the home page under "Podcasts". One may listen to these via computer, or subscribe to the podcasts for free through iTunes for use on iPods, iPads, iPhones, and other .mp3 players. Recent entries include:
 iv. Click the section “Understanding the archives” and review some of the animated as well as other guides available. Be prepared to review something from this section. To view the little animated guide list, click on “View all Videos” underneath the little box on the lower left and choose one to view from the list on the right hand side.
It took Ol' Myrt here a minute to find the "Understanding the Archives option. It's found under "Records > Understanding the Archives". I viewed the 1:39 minute animated guide titled Recording research results." Regardless of locality or surname, each genealogist "needs to back up conclusions with evidence from original sources."

5) Review the section under “Looking for a person?” by using the back arrow from the screen above to get to that area where you can see this section. Check out one or two items and be prepared to share what you discovered.
I reviewed a brief guide to "Looking for records of a person in the Home Guard" and learned it was also known as the Local Defence Volunteers. Basically the records are not online. However, TNA at Kew has  
  • Home Forces papers and regimental histories (1914-1956)  WO 199. To access these records you will either need to visit us, commission research (£) or, where you can identify a specific record reference, order a copy (£). 
    Interestingly, TNA provides info about a record group that is not part of it's collection:

Home Guard personnel records and enrollment forms (1940-1945) - For these one must contact the Army Personnel Centre for Home Guard personnel records and enrollment forms. Details can be found on the Veterans UK website. These records are not available to members of the general public, but those who served and next of kin may request access to them.

6) Go to the section “Understand the archives” again by using the back arrow in your browser.
a. Note there are tutorials to aid you with learning how to read old documents. Listed is:
- i. Beginners’ Latin (Take a few minutes to review this first one)
- ii. Advanced Latin
- iii. Palaeography
- iv. Latin Palaeography
- v. Currency Converter
- vi. Roman Numerals
A screen shot from session 1 of this series. Even though this is
English research, many were beginning to wear their 1940 Eisenhower jackets
in honor of the upcoming release of the 1940 US Census.
 b. Be prepared to share your thoughts on the first tutorial.
Done! The 12 lessons increase in difficulty. With my native tongue being English and having studied French and Spanish, each a Latin-based language, understanding most of the Latin terms provided in these lessons was easy. 
imperpetuum forever, in perpetuity
prius formerly
The months of the year were a snap.

7) Review the section under “Looking for a Place” and review the information provided on one of the links and share your thoughts on it.
I chose "Using the Manorial Documents Register (MDR) and how to find manorial lordships" because I understand that many of the records are "filed" in manor court records, predating church records. It wasn't that my ancestors were Lord and Ladies of the court, nor were they big land owners. However, I understand that those who rented land in a manor had to ask permission of the Lord to do just about anything. This included attempts to inherit one's father's rental of the land. From the TNG guide I discovered the records are divided into two parts.
1. The Parish Index: identifies the names of manors associated with parishes, as the two are not always identical.  It is arranged by county and alphabetically by parish name within each county.

2. The Manor Index: is arranged by county and then alphabetically by manor name within each county. The Manor Index does not contain a reference to all manors known to have existed. If no records are extant, the manor may not be mentioned in the index.

8) Review the next section “Catalogues and online Records”. There is lots to do here and you need to pick anywhere from 3 to 5 items to click through and see where it leads you – be prepared to share findings.
Alien entry books
Visit ancestry.co.uk ~ details of foreigners resident in the UK, 1794-1921 (HO 5).
Maritime births 1867-1960
Visit findmypast.co.uk ~ records of maritime births from the Admiralty, the Board of Trade, the Colonial Office and Customs and Excise.
Moving Here
Why people came to England over the last 200 years. The site includes National Archives' internment cards and passenger lists, free to search and download. I discovered this included Caribbean, Irish, Jewish and South Asian migration histories.

9) Note the differences between Access to Archives (A2A), National Register of Archives (NRA) and Archive Contact Details (ARCHON) and be prepared (time permitting) to review this information.
 Access to Archives (A2A)
Search catalogues describing archives held throughout England and Wales.
National Register of Archives (NRA)
Search for archival collections relating to British history held throughout the UK and beyond.
Archive contact details (ARCHON)
Find contact details for record repositories in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in the world.
Ol' Myrt here is beginning to realize I've got a lot more to learn about researching record groups for information about my ancestors from England.
Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
Your friend in genealogy.

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