Sunday, 28 November 2010

India Office Records

Have you ancestors who may have served in India? The India Office Records website contains a free database of archival records. These are extremely informative and useful to any family historian looking for details of ancestors who may have served there. Records date from 1600 to 1948 although not complete they are being added to.

The database contains records from:

  • East India Company (1600-1858)
  • Board of Control (1784-1858)
  • India Office (1858-1947)
  • Burma Office (1937-1948)

East India House, Leadenhall Street, London c.1817 (now demolished)

Records include births, baptisms, marriages, deaths, burials and biographical notes.

These include people who may have worked or served in the following occupations:

  • Civil servants
  • Military personnel
  • Mariners
  • Medical staff
  • Chaplains
  • Railway workers
  • Law officers
  • Non-official inhabitants such as merchants and planters, free mariners and missionaries
Contains an A-Z Dictionary and Glossary of abbreviations which are quite extensive and extremely useful when undertaking your research into ancestors in India.

Family Tree Folk

Monday, 22 November 2010

Friends of Dundee City Archives

If you have ancestors from Dundee this site is full of free searchable information.

The Friends of Dundee City Archives is an organisation that was established in 1989 to help and support the archivists by the purchase and preservation of old documents.

It contains searchable databases on the following:

·       Methodist Baptisms (Wesleyan Register of Baptisms – Dundee) 1785 – 1898
·       The Howff Graveyard Burials (over 80,000 records)
·       Vehicle Registrations, owners and licences 1911 – 1952
·       Index of Poor Registers
·       Dundee War Memorials and Roll of Honour

In addition to the above searchable databases there is so much more to access and view for anyone researching Dundee and ancestors who may have resided there.


Family Tree Folk

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

HHARP – Historic Hospital Admission Records Project - Children as patients

A useful database of 19th century children’s hospital records providing an insight into Victorian and Edwardian healthcare. This free site (after registration) gives access to almost 120,000 individual admission records between 1852 and 1914. Detailed history of the hospitals with many images and allowing you to locate patients by a name search.

In many instances you can view and download the original handwritten admission case notes which can result in a number of pages providing so much information to family historians.

I found an ancestor admitted on the 22nd March 1871 to Great Ormond Street Hospital when she was aged just 5 years old. I managed to download and print three pages of informative hand written notes.

The hospitals included so far are three London Hospitals:

The Hospital for Sick Children at Great Ormond Street
The Evelina Hospital
The Alexandra Hospital for Children with Hip Disease


The Royal Glasgow Sick Children’s Hospital

The Glasgow hospital records cover the period from 1883 when the hospital was opened until 1903 and gives information on the health of Glasgow’s poor children.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Cause Papers

The Cause Papers database is a searchable catalogue of more than 14,000 cause papers relating to cases heard between 1300 and 1858 in the Church Courts of the diocese of York. These cover in the main Yorkshire but do extend beyond to other counties.

The Borthwick Institute holds the original records which are the most extensive of their kind in the UK. These can be extremely useful in your research.

An example case of Grace Allenson c. Charles Allenson, 1676 below by Joanne Bailey (the author) makes for interesting reading

Joanne Bailey, Cause Papers in the Diocesan Courts of the Archbishopric of York

 22 October 2008

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Emigrant Ancestors

Following on from my previous post below about immigrant ancestors with some useful websites this post now looks at emigrant ancestors.

If you have been unable to locate a missing ancestor on a UK census it may well be that they left these shores to find a better life, by assisted passage schemes or forced migration. It is interesting to note that passports have been in existence since the 15th century. However it was not until 1914 when migration from the UK came under stricter control with the outbreak of WWI that they became a requirement.

Emigrant passenger lists from 1890 – 1960 with over 24 million records can be found at

Some other useful websites to search are:

Ellis Island for emigrants entering the USA from 1892 with over 700,000 entries. This is a free and searchable website however you need to register for free to access the manifest images.

Library and Archive Canada has a free searchable database. Between 1869 and 1930 over 100,000 children were sent to Canada from Great Britain.

Convicts to Australia. Free searchable database of convicts and convict ships arriving in New South Wales from 1788 to 1849, Western Australia from 1850 to 1868.

The Ships List carries a huge amount of useful information as well as passenger lists for the USA, Canada, Australia and South Africa.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Immigrant Ancestors

Many migrants have been landing on British shores for centuries from the early invaders through to merchants, slaves, refugees and workers.

Many immigrants did so fleeing religious persecution or war such as the Jewish refugees in World War II or earlier with the Huguenots in the 17th century. The Aliens Act in 1836 forced legislation to record each migrant arrival giving the date of arrival, port of entry, name and occupation. This often meant an abundance of written records until the individual went through the “naturalisation” programme and became a citizen and entitled to more rights. Many of these records are becoming available to search online. and The National Archives are popular sites to visit but there are lesser known and useful websites.

Two useful websites to search are:

The Moving Here website is searchable and original documents can be viewed and downloaded

The Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild website can be searched by port of arrival or departure with over 11,000 passenger manifests

Monday, 1 November 2010

A 1570 census of the Poor in Norwich

Information back in the 16th century is not easy to find but if you had ancestors in Norwich, Norfolk, England you may find this link to a census taken in 1570 of over 800 poorer residents of the city. These residents were all located in the wards around the wonderful castle of Norwich which was built in 1067. The magnificent keep was added in 1120 and still remains today.

Norwich Castle Keep

Recorded with details of their families, residence and employment. The data was first transcribed from the original documents and analysed in detail by John F Pound in the 1960’s and published on paper by the Public Record Society. The data was converted into electronic form by Paul Welbank in 1999.

Use the following link to access Paul's website: