Friday, 20 April 2018

Two updates in one week!

I don't usually have two major updates in a week but it has happened this month!

Here is an overview of today's import of 1,183 new data sets!

Findmypast has added new documents for Somerset, Northumberland, Rutland and Nottinghamshire.  These include parish registers for a variety of parishes.  See details here.

I have spent hours this week going through the digital films available from FamilySearch looking for memorial inscriptions in Suffolk.  This has resulted in an addition of 246 data sets to the OGI.

Another find was this document found on the Wiltshire Record Society's website.  It includes 209 graveyards and extracts of memorial inscriptions.  These are all now linked by place in the OGI.

My greatest impression this week was of the many researchers who, over the past 150 years or so, have spent years of their lives transcribing records in churchyards all over the country.  I know this continues today with billiongraves and findagrave, etc but here are some examples of old notebooks written long ago recording the names and dates from headstones.  I wonder if these men died young due to so much outdoor exposure or, perhaps, the opposite effect.... a longer life due to so much fresh air!


Mr Burdon reviewed hundreds of churchyards in Suffolk.  His works are now filmed and available to view at FamilySearch.org through their catalog.


Mr Whitehead is another who worked tirelessly recording the names, dates and inscriptions on thousands of headstones.


There are also bound volumes available which include the works of researchers such as G H Lawson who also devoted much of his life to the recording of headstones.

The above examples are only those I have reviewed this week but I have come across dozens of people who have specialized in this field.  Their contributions have helped to locate missing children, siblings, parents, etc.  Take a look at these headstones from my own family tree.  The amount of information on one headstone can expand your pedigree chart in new directions.



If you wish to get involved, take a look at billiongraves.com who collect cemetery transcriptions and photos from around the world.  Other sites collecting gravestone data are gravestonephotos.com and findagrave.com.  They are always looking for contributions which will help others find their ancestors.  As I have discovered with my own line, even those not christened and lived to adulthood were buried in churchyards.

This weeks additions have benefited from those individuals who have transcribed headstones.  This has brougth the OGI total to over 374,000 data sets.  

I will leave another post as soon as there are new entries added to the site.

Thanks to all those signing up as Friends of the OGI (see the bottom of the home page of ogindex.org).  I now have over 700 names and emails of those wishing to stay in touch with the updates to the site.  I hope to eventually have a regular mailing list to inform of new updates and blog entries.

Until the next updates!

Regards,

Tim Manners






Monday, 16 April 2018

New OGI additions for April

It is good to return to all those using the Online Genealogical Index and especially those who take the time to read the blog.

To justify the month of silence, I was with my family in Utah, USA celebrating the wedding of my daughter Reilly and her husband Sam.  I also had the opportunity to visit the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, the world's largest genealogy library.  

Image result for salt lake city genealogical library

I was invited to present the Online Genealogical Index to the support team working on the British Floor of the library.  Thanks to Val Atkinson for arranging this event.  There were two one hour sessions given and I enjoyed meeting over 50 attendees who seemed quite interested in how the OGI can help with researching British ancestry quickly and efficiently.

Here is the list of the latest updates to the OGI.

  • Cardiganshire Burials collection updates from Findmypast.
  • Cheshire, Lancashire, Staffordshire and Yorkshire Civil Registration births and marriage updates.
  • Cornwall Burials collection updates from Findmypast
  • Gravestone Photos updates (lots of new cemeteries included)
  • New Gloucestershire Monumental Inscriptions collection covering 318 churchyards from Findmypast.
  • New Kent Parish Record collection for a few parishes from Ancestry
  • Updated transcriptions from the Lancashire Online Parish Clerk website.
  • New memorial inscriptions for a few British cemeteries hosted on Geneanet
  • Updated baptism transcriptions from Norfolk Baptism Project
  • New Findmypast collections of digital parish register images for Suffolk and Surrey.
  • New Yorkshire Parish Record collection of 95 digital books from Ancestry.
  • 58 new archive.org links to digital books covering parish registers and memorial inscriptions from Berkshire, Gloucestershire, Kent, Lancashire, Warwickshire and Yorkshire.
  • And finally, a burial register for Chiddingly, Sussex from FamilySearch books!
The total number of links on the OGI is approaching 373,000.  Still hope to reach 400,000 by the end of the year.

There is a slight bug when switching between countries using Chrome on the OGI home page.  The counties do not always load for Wales, for example.  It seems to be blocked due to either security software or a browser issue.  I tested the same process on Firefox and this seems to work perfectly.  I hope to find a solution soon for those using Chrome or other browsers.

I may need to remove the broken Rootsweb links to data in the near future as they are still not repaired.  This mainly effects links for Derbyshire.

Thanks again for your support and interest.  I will continue reviewing my monthly list of ever-changing source sites and also look for new resources to fill in the gaps in data.  I hope that one day, the records for parishes in England and Wales will be so well represented, researchers will always come to the Online Genealogical Index first.

I wish you all well and hope your research is fruitful and your family tree continues to grow.

Until next time,

Tim Manners

Monday, 19 March 2018

Latest Additions include many resources from Archive.org

I have just totalled the number of archive.org pages I have reviewed over the past four years while compiling genealogical data for the Online Genealogical Index.  These scanned books includ historical magazines, pedigrees, local histories, school records, graveyard surveys,  parish registers, etc.  The total number of pages I have personally examined is over 110,000.  That is a lot of paperbacks!

The fruit of my labour are 3,768 links to genealogical data found at archive.org.  You may wonder why this is such a big deal seeing that the OGI has over 372,000 data sets.  Many of these digital books are unique and valuable resources.

Here are some impressive examples of the types of resources found at archive.org:

Phillimore's Marriage Register collections including this one for Harwell, Berkshire
Memorial Inscriptions in the church and churchyard for Little Missenden, Buckinghamshire
School Registers from Repton, Derbyshire (includes birth dates and parent's name)
Complete Parish Registers like this one from Doddinton Pigot, Lincolnshire
Detailed pedigrees similar to this discovery for the Manners family from Framlington, Northumberland (No connection to my family so far!)
All gravestones at Almondbury, All Saints, Yorkshire published in 1880.

The value of graveyard surveys from old books and magazines is that many of these were done in the 1800s and the older headstones are either illegible, damaged or missing today.

Archive.org is an amazing website with everything from historical books to newsreel footage, rare concert audio, classic video games (you can play them right on the website!), photo collections and, one of my favourites, backups of "dead" websites (see web.archive.org).  The latter is an amazing resource for genealogical information.  More on that in a future blog post.

To see Archive.org's genelealogical collection, click HERE.  With over 134,000 genealogical books and magazines, I personally have a lot of pages left to review, thousands of hours of reading!

Additions to the OGI in March include:

Marriage Records from Cumberland, Denbighshire, Durham, Lancashire, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire.
Parish Registers and Memorial Inscriptions from Cheshire, Kent, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Suffolk, Warwickshire and Westmorland.
School Registers from Essex, Kent, London, Middlesex, Surrey and Yorkshire.
Welsh War Memorials from Denbighshire, Flintshire and Merionethshire.

I will be 'quiet' for a few weeks as I travel to the United States with my family to attend the wedding of my daughter, Reilly, and Samuel Pakratz of Tooele, Utah.  As people have reminded me, "That's what happens when you send your daughter to university in Utah!"  We are very happy and look forward to meeting Sam and his family.

I will return ready to search the depths of the internet for more unique and valuable genealogical treasures!

Best wishes and a Happy Easter to all,

Tim Manners
http://ogindex.org



Wednesday, 7 March 2018

BIG NEWS! The 1939 Register of England & Wales is now available on MyHeritage

I had to share this with the users of the Online Genealogical Index as it is an excellent resource for researching more recent ancestors from 1939.

The 1939 Register used to be only available on findmypast with a special additional subscription and is still the only place to see the original images from this collection.

MyHeritage now hosts a copy of the 33+ million records of those living in England and Wales in 1939.



MyHeritage also offers free accounts for members of the LDS Church 
(LDS members can sign up by going to http://familysearch.org/partneraccess and click on MyHeritage)

MyHeritage is also available at any LDS Family History Center (find one near you here)

BUT the collection is not well advertised on their site so you can find it by doing the following once you have your own account....

1.  Login at http://www.myheritage.com
2.  Put your mouse over (do NOT click) the heading "Research"
3.  Click on "Collection Catalog"
4.  Click on the image or heading for "1939 Register of England & Wales" (or type the word '1939' into the search field at the top of the list and hit Enter)
The direct link to this collection is: https://www.myheritage.com/research/collection-10678/1939-register-of-england-wales

You can now search for your ancestor!  Those younger than 100 years who have not been matched to a death record will be hidden in the results.  Every year, as the 100 year mark approaches, more records will become visible.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Lots of new updates in February!

Greetings to my genealogical researching friends!

It has been a couple of weeks since my last post and I want you all to know what has been added to the OGI, so here is a detailed list!



Total of 5,217 data sets added or updated since my last post.  February has been busy!

There is more coming over the next few weeks then I will be off to the USA for my daughter's wedding (April 6th!) so may be quiet for a couple of weeks.

Thanks to Val, a new friend of the site who works at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah (the largest genealogical library in the world), more people will be learning about why ogindex.org is a great site to track down an English or Welsh ancestor.

Val sent some news this week from RootsTech in Salt Lake City:  

Carol, friend from England, and I ended up educating our neighbours about the OGI and one of them said, "I want to go home NOW and play with it!"   Other comments from Americans who joined in were "AWESOME!", "FABULOUS!"  And, very important, ..... "Why didn't we know about This?"

Between the two of us we taught 5 people!

She is so happy with ogindex.org, she is actively promoting its use and will be teaching others about it in a training course for British research, as well as mentioning it on a daily basis to guests with British ancestry.   I am always happy to learn when the OGI is being enthusiastically used around the world.  Thanks to any of you who have promoted the website by word of mouth (or email!)

Have a good March and stay warm (especially thoses suffering through snow and freezing temperatures around the UK).

Best wishes from Staffordshire,

Tim Manners
http://ogindex.org

Monday, 12 February 2018

New Discoveries in Sussex this week

The collection of data added to the Online Genealogical Index continues to grow!  There are now over 371,250 sets for thousands of places in England, Wales and the Isle of Man.  The OGI is the FIRST place to look for data as it includes all collections from familysearch.org, ancestry, findmypast, freereg, findagrave, Online Parish Clerk sites, billiongraves, gravestonephotos, genuki, ukbmd, and hundreds of other resources.  I continue to be amazed by the many individuals and societies who are gathering information, transcribing parish registers, photographing headstones, etc.

Findmypast released a Devon Banns collection this week which is now included in the OGI.

This week I have returned to the amazing resources at www.archive.org.  There are thousands of genealogical magazines and books from the 1800's.  One of these publications was the Sussex Archaeological Collections which was first published in 1847.  Each annual publication was often over 350 pages in length and a treasure trove of faschinating information.  The majority was about the architecture, history and people of Sussex but, sometimes, transcriptions of parish registers, church memorials or graveyards are included.  Many of these are uniquely found in this publication and the OGI now includes 2,978 links to items found at archive.org.  

Here is an example of a detailed survey of monuments in the parish church at Rye along with the headstones in the churchyard and the burying ground (two locations).  It may help to justify the hundreds of hours of reading and tens of thousands of pages I have reviewed (The current total is at least 65,000 pages just for Sussex so far!)

Additional items added this week include updates at the country pages of the ukbmd.org.uk site.  These are local transcriptions of civil registration which include, for marriages, the actual church or registry office.  As you may know, the data at FreeBMD only tells you the district of the event so knowing the exact church of a marriage can help you locate the original record on the parish registers (use OGI to find the available records online!)

The Lincolnshire Parish Register collection at familysearch continues to be added to the OGI (their collection has no browse option) so there are now just over 200 places to check before it is completely represented.  

I look forward to discovering more useful resources to help you locate your ancestors and will continue to update you here when collections are added to the Online Genealogical Index.

Thank you for your use of the site!

Tim Manners
Creator and Owner of the OGI
http://ogindex.org



Friday, 2 February 2018

Over 700 new data sets added this week!

I hope you are having a successful and healthy 2018.

This weeks additions include more parishes from Lincolnshire, Findmypast collections from Durham, Northumberland and Yorkshire, more cemeteries from gravestonephotos.com and parish records from the Dorset Onlne Parish Clerk website.  The latter is an excellent example of the great contribution that volunteer transcribers can give to the community.

This weeks panic was my discovery that Genuki had changed their URL structure meaning that my 1200+ Genuki links were in danger of not working.  I had to manually review each one and update many to keep them working.  Genuki has a large collection of publically donated parish records and is a good resource for free information.

I am now down to 300 Lincolnshire parishes to review and add to the OGI so that should be coming to an end in February.

We are having a lot more interest and use of the site which pleases me to know that my project may be helping others all over the world to track down online records of their ancestors.  Currently, about 10 people are leaving their names and emails and becoming a "friend" of the OGI.

If you have not yet read the article about the General Register Office, I highly recommend it as the tips and step-by-step instructions will help you track down more ancestors using freely available resources.  You can find the article by clicking here.

I wish you all a good week and will continue looking for new resources to help us all.

Kind regards,

Tim Manners
http://ogindex.org