Genealogy news roundup: Second World War Bomber Command digital archive launches

By Rosemary Collins, 6 September 2018 - 1:29pm

Plus: Findmypast releases new electoral registers collection; Appeal to identify First World War nurses in newly colourised pictures; Heritage sites open doors in Open Days festival

Bomber Command photograph Second World War online family history
David Donaldson (left) with his co-pilot in a Wellington Bomber (Credit: IBCC)

The International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC) has announced a new digital archive telling the stories of those involved in Bomber Command during the Second World War.

The archive will be formally launched at a service at the University of Lincoln on 6 September, with Frances Zagni, daughter of Bomber Command veteran and prisoner of war John Valentine, presenting a unique collection of her parents' wartime letters.

The website already offers free access to over 1,000 interviews with those affected by the bombing, including Bomber Command and Women's Auxiliary Air Force veterans and citizens of the bombed countries.

It also has digitised copies of 2,000 photographs and 1,500 documents, including letters, diaries and log books.


Findmypast releases new electoral registers collection

Family history website Findmypast has announced a new record collection: England & Wales Electoral Registers 1920-32.

The collection consists of over 53 million transcriptions and images of electoral registers from the years 1920 and 1926-31, as well as a smaller set from 1932.

They were created from annual lists of those registered to vote in each constituency.

Each transcript on Findmypast contains the year, the person's name and the polling district or place, constituency and county.

Findmypast releases new electoral registers collection


Appeal to identify First World War nurses in newly colourised pictures

English Heritage is seeking family historians' help in identifying photographs of nurses who worked at the Wrest Park estate in Silsoe during the First World War.

The photographs, which English Heritage has had colourised, show the nurses at the site, which was established as a privately funded hospital by its owner Auberon Herbert, 8th Baron Lucas.

Volunteers at Wrest Park would like to hear from anyone who can name any of the nurses, knows more about their lives, or had a relative who worked at Wrest Park during the war.

Andrew Hann, English Heritage properties historian, said: "It would be wonderful if the public could help us identify these forgotten women."

To view the pictures and contact English Heritage, click here.


Heritage sites open doors in Open Days festival

Over 5,000 of England's biggest heritage sites are offering free access this weekend as the annual Heritage Open Days festival returns.

Thousands of castles, museums, factories and other tourist destinations will be free to visit on 6-9 and 13-15 September, marking the first time in its 24-year history that the festival has taken place over two weekends.

During the festival, Heritage Open Days will unveil its 'put her forward' project - 25 35cm statutes of living women who have contributed to their community, nominated by members of the public.


Digital Panopticon adds new criminal history records

Free criminal records website Digital Panopticon has announced a new set of records.

The website, which was created to bring together information about individuals convicted at the Old Bailey between 1780 and 1925, has added 1,044 records of convicts who were transported to Australia.

The new collection consists of 473 records from general registers, 356 from character books, and 215 from probation records.

In addition, Digital Panopticon added census records of 476 convicts from 1841 to 1911, and linked to 48,739 possibly relevant death records on FreeBMD.

The website also added the ability to search by a variety of personal characteristics and life events, wildcards in searching and pie charts to visualise results.


RootsIreland adds Swords gravestone inscriptions

Fingal Genealogy has added 1,000 gravestone inscriptions from the town of Swords to the Co. Dublin (North) database on RootsIreland.

The records cover St. Colmcille's Roman Catholic cemetery and St. Columba's Church of Ireland cemetery.

RootsIreland holds more than 20 million unique Irish family history records.



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Findmypast releases new electoral registers collection
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Findmypast releases new electoral registers collection
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How do you research overseas evacuees in the Second World War?
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