Genealogy news roundup: Ancestry adds Norfolk parish register transcripts

By Rosemary Collins, 7 June 2018 - 1:40pm

Plus: MyHeritage expires user passwords after cybersecurity breach; Findmypast introduces military hints on family trees; RootsIreland adds 36,000 County Clare records

Ancestry Norfolk bishop's transcript
The baptism, marriage and burial records cover over three centuries

A significant new collection of parish register transcripts from Norfolk has been digitised on Ancestry.

From 1538, ministers of the newly-formed Church of England were required to keep records of baptisms, marriages and burials in their parish.

In addition, the bishop of the diocese had to keep copies of the records, and these copies form the Norfolk collection, which consists of transcripts for parishes beginning A-N and Weekly Register Bills from Great Yarmouth.

In total, the collection comprises 5,930,500 records dating from 1600 to 1935.

Transcripts for parishes beginning O-Z will be added later this year.


MyHeritage expires user passwords after cybersecurity breach

Family history website MyHeritage has announced that it will expire all user passwords after the email addresses of 92,283,889 users were leaked in a cybersecurity breach, requiring all users to change their passwords.

In statements on its blog, the company said that the breach, which occurred on 26 October 2017, consisting solely of leaking the users' email addresses and hashed versions of their passwords.

MyHeritage does not store customers' credit card information, and stores sensitive data such as DNA and family history information on segregated servers which weren't breached.

There is no evidence that the emails were used by the perpetrators.

However, the company is expiring the passwords in order to maximise security, and is in the process of introducing the option of two-factor authentication.

MyHeritage told users: "It's important for us to stress that your privacy and the security of your data are and will always remain our highest priority."


Findmypast introduces military hints on family trees

Findmypast users will now receive automatic hints from the website's military records when they build their family trees.

Findmypast holds 89.4 million military records covering covering all three branches of the British Armed Forces, US draft and enlistment records spanning both World Wars, an exclusive Prisoner of War collection, documents from the US Civil and Revolutionary Wars, military pensions, medal indexes, casualty lists, muster rolls, and more.

George Nolan, senior product manager at Findmypast, said: "We find that many customers tend to focus on BMD and Census records and often neglect other sources of information about their ancestors.

"When testing the new military hints, even our seasoned genealogists uncovered previously unknown details about their ancestor's military careers."


RootsIreland adds 36,000 County Clare records

RootsIreland has added another 36,000 records to its County Clare database.

The new records, held at the Clare Heritage and Genealogy Centre, cover 17 parishes in the county and include Roman Catholic marriage records, civil death registers and Church of Ireland baptism, marriage and death records.

They primarily cover the 19th century, but one set of Church of Ireland parish registers from Killaloe dates back to 1688, while the Ennis civil death registers date from 1864 to 1959.


History to be celebrated at 160th Great Yorkshire Show

The Great Yorkshire Show has announced that two projects celebrating its history will be on display in next month's show, which marks 160 years since it was founded.

Films of historic Great Yorkshire Shows, curated by the Yorkshire Film Archive, will be projected onto a giant screen at the show.

Meanwhile, the Washburn Heritage Centre at Fewston has put together a special exhibition of local farming scenes, exploring themes including agricultural machinery, boundaries and the role of women in farming, and featuring an old OS map of the land where the Great Yorkshire Showground was developed.

Charles Mills, the show director, said: "It would be marvellous if visitors to the show recognise relatives, events or places that mean a lot to them."

The Great Yorkshire Show will take place at the Great Yorkshire Showground in the Regional Agricultural Centre in Harrogate from 10 to 12 July.


TheGenealogist adds more 1921 directories

TheGenealogist has added more directories to its 1921 collection, bringing the total number of records to 1.75 million heads of household.

The records provide searchable records of the names and addresses of individuals and businesses and are a good substitute for the 1921 census, which is not yet publicly available.

The new directories cover Nottingham, Glasgow, Leicestershire & Rutland, Derby, Shropshire and Kent.


TownsWeb Archiving Digitisation Grant 2018 opens for applications

TownsWeb Archiving is again encouraging UK heritage projects to apply for digitisation grants worth up to £5000.

The specialist archive digitisation company will provide £5000 worth of its services, including digitisation, metadata transcription, optical character recognition, website design and digital asset management software, to the winning archive, while the runner-up will win £2000 services.

In addition, every organisation whose application is shortlisted will also receive an optional £500 of match funding to put towards digitisation.

The deadline for applications is 11.59pm on 12 July.


The National Archives invites visitors to behind-the-scenes tour of conservation studio

The National Archives is celebrating International Archives Day on 9 June by offering visitors a rare behind-the-scenes tour of its conservation studio.

Visitors will watch conservators, conservation scientists and records specialists demonstrate how they care for a collection of over 6,500 seal moulds dating from 1136 to the 1950s.

The seals are in the process of being digitised and will be available in an online database by early 2020.

Paul Dryburgh, medieval records specialist at The National Archives, called the database "a treasure trove of information just waiting to be found on heraldry, fashion, architecture and armour".

To book a free ticket for the tour, click here.


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