A new on-line archive may be of interest for late 19th century research: Masonic publications.
The archive consists of periodicals held at the Library and Museum of Freemasonry, London. Covering the period between the late 18th and early 20th centuries, it currently consists of 75,000 pages.
Not the easiest site to navigate, and a quick look at sample articles shows that most names are written as initials surname, or surname initials, which could make things difficult. However, looks a useful resource if one has hints of possible Freemason in your family tree.
As a short cut I would try this link.
Click on the tab> search (top left). Look in> All publications. Then type in your search terms.
If you’re researching an ancestor who was employed in industry or manufacturing, or if you are interested in engineering or researching Britain’s industrial past, then a website I found recently may be worth a visit.
Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History describes itself as “the leading source of information about industry and manufacturing in Britain from the start of the Industrial Revolution to the present time.” The website contains information on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
At the moment there are 83,100 pages of information and 108,998 images including scanned images of The Engineer magazine from 1856 to 1926.
There are detailed pages on the history of companies, processes and industries, all of which provide excellent background information should your ancestor have been employed in an industry or manufacturing. Here’s an example for Rowhedge Ironworks Co near Wivenhoe in Essex.
Well worth a look and it’s all free!
Findmypast.co.uk have released a substantial number of new records under the overall title of
Crime, Prisons & Punishment 1770-1934
The current 518,000 records help you discover if your ancestors were criminals and passed through the justice system in England and Wales between 1817-1931. Soon it will be extended to cover the years 1770 – 1934 with thousands more additional records.
Many contain information on criminals from Essex.
They are from a number of sets of records at The National Archives:
Admiralty: registers of convicts in prison hulks (TNA ref: ADM6)
Central Criminal Court: after-trial calendars of prisoners (TNA ref: CRIM9)
Home Office: calendar of prisoners (TNA ref: HO140)
Home Office: criminal petitions (TNA ref: HO17)
Metropolitan Police: Criminal Record Office: habitual criminals’ registers and miscellaneous papers (TNA ref: MEPO6)
Home Office and Prison Commission: prison records (TNA ref: PCOM2)
More details on this page on their website: Crime, Prisons & Punishment 1770-1934
If you have Irish ancestors then the new database on Find My Past will be of interest.
Now available are over 21 million Irish birth, marriage and death records. Access is via their World subscription or pay-per-view.
The periods covered for each section of the records are:
The dates sightly vary depending on whether they involved Catholic or non-Catholic. Government (civil) registration of marriages began for non-Catholic marriages in 1845, for Catholic marriages in 1864, and for births and deaths in 1864.
From 1864 to 1921, the birth, marriage and death records cover all 32 counties in Ireland. From 1921 to 1958 they cover the Republic of Ireland, excluding Northern Ireland.
New on Ancestry.co.uk are the UK’s Civil Divorce Records covering the period 1858 to 1911.
This database contains records from civil divorce proceedings that followed the 1857 Matrimonial Causes Act. This removed divorce from the jurisdiction of the church to the civil courts.
Divorce was an expensive matter and therefore only available to a small part of the society. Nevertheless, even if they were not wealthy it is still worth searching for your ancestors’ names in case they a rementioned as a party to the divorce.
The database may contain the following information:
type of record
date and place of marriage
names and birth details of children
copy of marriage certificate
More background information appears on the search page for Civil Divorce Records.
Those with London ancestors who lived in London during WW2, and particularly the Blitz, may be interested in a new online ‘Bomb Map’.
Created by the University of Portsmouth from various bomb census records held in the National Archives it shows the place where every German bomb dropped by aircraft on London during a period of 8 months from October 1940 and June 1941.
Additional background information has been added from the BBC’s WW2 People’s War memories and photographs from the Imperial War Museum.
The map does not work in all browsers, Visit the website at www.bombsight.org..