Genealogy news roundup: Findmypast releases second phase of suffrage records

By Rosemary Collins, 14 June 2018 - 1:32pm

Plus: ScotlandsPeople adds 2,400 free maps; MyHeritage introduces two-factor authentication following cybersecurity breach; First World War national digital archive receives £87,800 HLF grant

1911 suffragette census
The new releases include 1911 census returns which many suffragettes and suffragists used to protest

Family history website Findmypast has released the second phase of its suffragette collection to mark the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote.

It added over 22,000 records from The National Archives, including Home Office and Metropolitan Police records of its surveillance of the suffragette campaign and raids on headquarters.

Findmypast has also created new transcriptions of thousands of 1911 census returns, where many women protested by either spoiling the form or listing 'suffragist' or 'suffragette' as their profession.

In addition, it indexed the 1866 women's suffrage petition and added 14 suffrage newspapers to its newspaper collection.


ScotlandsPeople adds 2,400 free maps

More than 2,400 historic maps, plans and drawings from the National Records of Scotland are now available for free on ScotlandsPeople.

The maps were previously published via projects such as ScotlandsPlaces, but this is the first time they have been released on the National Records of Scotland's own website.

The collection includes manuscript and printed topographical maps and plans covering four centuries, with large amounts of estate and railway plans, architectural drawings, and engineering drawings, particularly of ships, railway engines and rolling stock.

The collection can be searched by year, place name or reference number.

To view it, researchers need to be registered ScotlandsPeople users but they do not need to buy credits on the site.


MyHeritage introduces two-factor authentication following cybersecurity breach

Two-factor authentication is now available on all MyHeritage accounts as part of the website's security upgrades after it discovered that the email addresses of 92,283,889 users were leaked last year.

MyHeritage strongly recommends that users adopt the system, which means that once a month or whenever they log in from an unfamiliar device, it will text them a six-digit verification code, which they will have to enter to access the website.

It was initially due to be introduced in July-August, but MyHeritage moved it forward following the cybersecurity breach, announcing its launch on 6 June.

The website has also now completed the process of expiring all passwords, requiring users to adopt new ones.


First World War national digital archive receives £87,800 HLF grant

Lest We Forget: Keep Their Stories Alive, a project to create a national digital archive of Britain's First World War family memorabilia, has been awarded an £87,800 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The project will stage events around the country where local people can bring their First World War family heirlooms and valuables.

A team of experts and volunteers will tell them about their object and create a lasting digital record of it.

Lest We Forget was initially launched by Oxford University, which successfully raised £18,082 from members of the public, and is now a partnership between the university and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.


FamilySearch adds new collections of American records

FamilySearch has added five new collections of American family history records to its database.

The collections, consisting of 816,658 records and images altogether, are New Jersey naturalisation records (1796-1991); Washington County, Ohio newspaper obituaries (1884-2013); Kansas cemetery abstracts; Sevier County, Arkansas death records (1914-1923); and records of Japanese Americans interned at Minidoka Japanese Relocation Centre from 1942 to 1945.

In addition, FamilySearch added existing records to its collections of Southern District, New York naturalisation records (1942-1945) and Idaho southern counties obituaries (1943-2013).


Historic England recognises suffragette sites

Historic sites around the country have been relisted by Historic England in order to recognise the suffragette protests that took place there.

41 sites on the National Heritage List for England have had their listing updated to include their role in suffragette history as part of Historic England's HerStory project in collaboration with the University of Lincoln.

They include Manchester's Free Trade Hall, where Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney held the first suffragette protest in 1905, and Cutlers' Hall in Sheffield, where suffragettes repeatedly interrupted a formal dinner attended by Winston Churchill by sending him telegrams.

In addition, Historic England also announced that it would upgrade the grave of suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst to Grade II* listed status.


St Albans Museum + Gallery opens

St Albans' new museum was opened by the city's mayor, Cllr Rosemary Farmer, on 8 June.

The £7.75 million St Albans Museum + Gallery opened following a two-year restoration of the city's Grade II* listed former town hall.

It features permanent displays tracing the history of St Albans back to 110,000 BC, and opened with its first exhibition First Impressions, which charts the city's printing heritage.

The mayor said the museum and its exhibitions were "sure to bring people from the across the south-east to our wonderful historic city".




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