Genealogy and History News
Forebears are currently developing an extension to the existing surname distribution map facility, which can be accessed by conducting a surname search. At current the facility provides the most detailed surname maps of the British Isles; based on census returns. The new project will, for the first time, provide maps showing the distribution of surnames throughout the world. Every county, from China to the Pitcairn Islands islands will be included.
Shropshire Archives is currently in the process of securing a contract with a third-party to make available digital images of over 3,300 Church of England and non-conformist registers held at the record center in Shrewsbury. The project to digitalise the registers was completed earlier this year.
Forebears have completed a project to digitise one edition of Kelly's Directory for each county in England and the directory for South Wales. Most of the selected directories were published around the year 1900. Slater's Directory of North & Mid Wales has also been digitised, as Kelly's did not publish a directory for this area. Forebears will shortly commence a further digitisation project focusing on a different time period.
The following are abstracts of 51 wills proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury for residents of West Felton, in the county of Shropshire. There are a number of other wills, which are listed by township which will be appended at a later date.
A new feature has been added to Forebears – maps showing the distribution of surnames in Ireland & Northern Ireland. The maps can be found at the bottom of each surname page, for example on the Sheehan page. Brighter shadings indicate a higher incidence of a name in a county and are supplamented with lists reporting incedancy for counties and settlements. With the sparcity of genealogical records for Ireland, these maps can be useful for locating what county your Irish ancestors may have originated from.
Forebears are currently undertaking a project to transcribe one Kelly's Directory published around 1900 for each county in England and South Wales. In the absence of a Kelly's directory for North Wales, Slater's Directory of North Wales (1895) has been used as a substitute. These transcripts will be available on the page for their respective place. For example, see the transcript for West Felton. Townships, hamlets and other lower level units will be listed on separate pages, which are accessible by hyper links found above the historic descriptions.
A tireless researcher of families from the Shropshire-Montgomeryshire border recently acquired a private census collated by an owner of land in Alberbury, Cardeston, Wollaston & Buttington, straddling the counties of Shropshire and Montgomeryshire.
There was some confusion among Welsh genealogist this June as to whether FindMyPast's Welsh parish register collection had been fully published. Language used in the article announcing the publication of a further 4 million parish register entries suggested that no more records were to come. The announcement heralding this project stated there would be an index of 8 million entries, but to date only 6 million have been published.
Ancestry have just launched a collection of Irish newspapers covering over 125 years of local and national history. Currently these records can only be browsed page, but presumably a OCR index is on the way.
FindMyPast recently released an index of two million names linked to images of original parish registers. This adds to the four million released in March this year. Many people have taken this to be the final batch as coverage now extends to all of the twelve historic counties of Wales. Though it is likely that there is more to come. Many people have noted that there appear to be gaps in FindMyPast's index. For example, some entries may be indexed for one year, but not the next. I found missing records in Llangedwyn, Denbighshire, which I knew existed from my own transcriptions.