Newsletter - 25th December 2014

 

 

Half-price subscriptions at Findmypast ENDS NEW YEAR'S DAY

Win a FREE one year subscription to Deceased Online EXCLUSIVE

New Year Competition: WIN UP TO 150 IN CASH!!

Your My Referrals page

Free access to Ancestry's UK records ENDED

Save 50 on Ancestry Premium membership ENDS NEW YEAR'S EVE

Reconstructing your ancestors' DNA

Last chance to save on DNA tests ENDS NEW YEAR'S EVE

Do you have Viking ancestry?

Finding 'missing' children

Masterclass: Extending your tree beyond 1911

Finding living relatives in the Electoral Roll

Half-price subscriptions to British Newspaper Archive

Search Valuation Rolls free at ScotlandsPeople

England & Wales wills after 1858: latest news

House of Lords discuss electronic BMD certificates

How Kathie knocked down a 'brick wall'

Serendipity

1871 Worldwide British Army Index

Football and World War 1

The 'Deaf and Dumb Wedding' of 1940

Charles Dickens had his own postbox

Your Family Tree taken over - but by whom?

Peter's Tips

Stop Press

 

The LostCousins newsletter is usually published fortnightly. To access the previous newsletter (dated 12th December) click here, for an index to articles from 2009-10 click here, for a list of articles from 2011 click here and for a list of articles from 2012-13 click here. Or use this customised Google search:
 

Whenever possible links are included to the websites or articles mentioned in the newsletter (they are highlighted in blue or purple and underlined, so you can't miss them). If one of the links doesn't work this normally indicates that you're using adblocking software - try disabling it temporarily (or else use a different browser, such as Chrome).

 

To go to the main LostCousins website click the logo at the top of this newsletter. If you're not already a member, do join - it's FREE, and you'll get an email to alert you whenever there's a new edition of this newsletter available!

 

 

Half-price subscriptions at Findmypast ENDS NEW YEAR'S DAY

To mark Start Your Family Tree Week (an excellent way to get people to start researching their family tree) Findmypast are offering half-price Annual subscriptions.

 

But the great news for LostCousins members is that you don't have to be a beginner to take advantage of this offer, which applies to ALL new Annual subscriptions at ALL Findmypast sites around the world. You may see the offer advertised elsewhere, but you'll only be supporting LostCousins when you use the following links:

 

Findmypast.co.uk

Findmypast.ie

Findmypast.com

Findmypast.com.au

 

Every Findmypast site offers the World subscription, but each has a different Local subscription. However at half price, doesn't it make sense to pay a little extra, and get a World subscription?

 

Note: whilst this offer is intended for new and lapsed subscribers only, by increasing subscriber numbers Findmypast will be able to invest more money in new online records, benefiting us all.

 

Sunday 28th December: some current subscribers have reported being able to renew at the discounted price using the link, so why not give it a try!

 

Win a FREE one year subscription to Deceased Online EXCLUSIVE

Finding where our ancestors were buried is often more difficult after the mid-19th century, because with towns and cities growing fast parish churchyards simply couldn't cope. Privately-owned graveyards and municipal cemeteries, sometimes far out of town, would have been the final resting place of most of our more recent relatives.

 

Deceased Online, the only website specialising in records from local councils, was launched in July 2008, and now has millions of records from thousands of cemeteries and crematoria. A project like this is always going to be a work in progress - but it's so much cheaper and more convenient to search online. Can you imagine how long it would have taken me to search the 430,000 burials and cremations at Manor Park cemetery? It's no wonder that I didn't know where my grandmother and her parents were buried until Deceased Online began adding the records in February last year. Cost is another factor - many local authorities charge 30 for each search of their records, which is a lot of money when you might not know for sure that your ancestor was buried there.

 

Until recently the only way to search at Deceased Online was to buy credits - but they now offer a one-year subscription for 89, and I'm delighted to say that I've managed to persuade them to donate a subscription to the winner of my New Year competition, which starts today and runs until midnight (London time) on Monday 19th January.

 

You'll find full details of the competition in the next article.....

 

New Year Competition: WIN UP TO 150 IN CASH!!

There was an amazing response to my Christmas Competition, which ended at midnight on Christmas Eve - and as a result of your efforts during the period of the competition hundreds of members have been connected with living relatives they didn't know about! The main prize-winners have already been notified (see Peter's Tips) and I'll be contacting the 10 runners-up over the next few days.

 

My New Year Competition is even more ambitious - I want you to invite researchers you know to join LostCousins, whether they are relatives, friends, members of your local family history society or U3A, or fellow enthusiasts who you've met online. You can even refer your spouse or partner if they don't already have an account of their own (remember that you can't enter someone else's relatives on your account, as the system isn't designed for this).

 

Note: for the purpose of this competition you must either use your My Referrals page or ask the person you are referring to register using your 'personal referral link' (which you'll find on your My Summary page). Otherwise we won't know that you referred them!

 

Of course, there's no point inviting people to join if they're not going to take part in my project to link cousins around the world - so there are TWO sets of prizes, one for the members who issue the invitations, and one for the new members who join.

 

How it going to work? On Tuesday 20th January I will select at random one of the relatives entered by a new member who has joined LostCousins since midnight on Christmas Eve at the invitation of an existing member. If YOU referred that new member, then YOU will win a FREE ONE-YEAR SUBSCRIPTION TO DECEASED ONLINE WORTH 89.

 

But that's not all you'll receive when you win. Next I'll count how many unique entries there are on the new member's My Ancestors page (by unique entries I mean entries that are not matched with another member after the Search button is clicked). For every unique entry I'll give the new member 1, and I'll also give YOU 1 - up to a maximum of 150 EACH!

 

So you could win a Deceased Online subscription worth 89 and a 150 cash bonus (or the equivalent in your local currency) - simply by doing what comes naturally, telling the family historians you know about LostCousins.

 

Tip: when you use your My Referrals page to invite a relative to join you can get them started by 'sending' them copies of relevant entries on your My Ancestors page. Whilst they won't count in the calculation of the cash bonus, they will increase the chance of your relative being selected - and therefore your chance of winning will also be enhanced.

 

If you aren't fortunate enough to win the first prize, don't worry - there will also be 10 runners-up, who will be randomly selected in the same way as the first prize winner. Both the new member AND the existing member who referred them will receive a FREE one-year LostCousins subscription worth up to 12.50, and a FREE digital photo repair/restoration worth up to 8.99 donated by Repixl, who have already produced stunning results for hundreds of LostCousins members (ie 20 prizes in all, potentially worth over 400).

 

Tip: if you have invited someone in the past using your My Referrals page but they haven't joined yet, why not send them a reminder? When you use My Referrals to invite others to join you can see at a glance whether or not they've signed up.

 

Competition rules: there are two sets of prizes, one for existing members (as at midnight on Christmas Eve) and one for new members (who register after midnight on Christmas Eve at the invitation of an existing member). There are two ways you can invite members to join - one is by issuing an individual invitation using your My Referrals page (best for relatives and people you know well), the other is by distributing the personal link shown on your My Summary page (best for casual acquaintances, such as people you meet on forums). If a new member is referred by more than one existing member, then the first valid referral code or personal code entered when the new member registers will determine who receives the prize. If the new member who wins the first prize was referred by someone who is also a new member then the existing member who referred them will receive the Deceased Online subscription, but the cash bonus will be shared between them. If there's something I haven't thought of I will resolve it in the fairest way I can - my decision on all matters will be final. Under no circumstances will more than 300 in cash be paid (in total).

 

Your My Referrals page

There are several reasons to consider using your My Referrals page to invite fellow researchers to join LostCousins - one is that you'll be able to see whether or not they've joined.

 

Another reason - also mentioned above - is that when you invite a cousin to join you can share with them the relevant entries on your My Ancestors page. A couple of minutes of your time will really help to get them started (if you're a user of Family Tree Analyzer, remember that it has a helpful report that lists the relatives you have in common, found on the 'Lost Cousins' tab).

 

The third reason is that when I lose touch with a member - as a result of a change in email address - I can contact the person who referred them, to check whether they have a newer address (or I can contact someone that they themselves referred). I spend a lot of time hunting down members to let them know that a cousin wants to connect, and it's really helpful to be able to ask someone who knows them how to get in touch.

 

Tip: you don't need to know the email address of the person you invite - simply leave this box blank.

 

http://www.tqlkg.com/l5115p59y31NPVXRVOPNPQOVPRXQ

 

Free access to Ancestry's UK records ENDED

Until midnight (London time) on Friday 26th December you can access all of Ancestry's UK records completely FREE (although you will need to register/log-in) - click here to start searching.

 

Save 50 on Ancestry Premium membership ENDS NEW YEAR'S EVE

New subscribers to Ancestry.co.uk are being offered a 50 discount on Premium subscriptions (compared to the new price of 119.99). However this offer ends at midnight (London time) on New Year's Eve, so you'll have to be quick.

 

Tip: the 50 you save is enough to buy a Britain subscription to Findmypast under the offer above - which means you could subscribe to the TWO best websites for British records for the price of ONE. Remember that whilst there are some overlaps in their records (eg censuses), when it comes to digitised parish registers there is no duplication (the same applies to many other records sourced from local record offices and archives). If you've ever dreamt of the progress you could make by having two subscriptions simultaneously, now could be the time to make those dreams come true!

 

Reconstructing your ancestors' DNA

I've always dreamt that it would one day be possible to reconstruct the genome of one of my ancestors, but for a long time it seemed that it would never come to fruition. But last week AncestryDNA announced that they had made a significant step in this direction by combining and analysing DNA samples from several descendants.

 

It may only be a small step towards the goal, but as more of us take DNA tests, who knows what might be possible in the future?

 

Last chance to save on DNA tests ENDS NEW YEAR'S EVE

You've got under a week to order your DNA test kit - the Family Tree DNA offer ends on 31st December. If you're still not sure how DNA can help family historians, take another look at the articles I've written on this fascinating topic:

 

DNA - what's it all about?

Find your DNA partners

When to use DNA tests

Using DNA to knock down 'brick walls'

LostCousins member solves dustbin baby mystery with DNA test

 

Tip: if you do decide to order a test, please use this link so that LostCousins can benefit!

 

Do you have Viking ancestry?

In Britain the word 'Vikings' tends to conjure up images of bearded men in longboats wearing helmets with horns on a mission to rape and pillage. The myth that Vikings had horns on their helmets was debunked some time ago (see, for example, this article from the Economist); now researchers have proved through DNA analysis that the Vikings brought women with them, at least when they sailed to the Orkney and Shetland islands.

 

The research paper was published in Philosophical Transactions B, a journal of the Royal Society, but you might find this article from The Independent easier to follow.

 

Finding 'missing' children

The additional questions in the 1911 Census were included because of concern about the falling birth rate, high levels of emigration, and the poor health of the nation. However the amount of data collected was quite overwhelming at a time when the term 'computer' meant a person sitting at a desk, not a machine sitting on a desk - and the report wasn't published until 1923 (you can read it here).

 

For family historians the information has a different significance - it's often the first opportunity we've had to check that we've identified all of the children born to a particular couple in our tree, including those who died as infants and as a result were never recorded on a census.

 

The first step in identifying missing births is to look for obvious gaps - for example, if you notice that there's a gap of 3 years or more between successive children it's a strong indication that there was another child who died in infancy. Bear in mind that stillbirths were not registered prior to 1927, so you won't necessarily find an entry in the birth indexes (nor should they be included on the census form, which specifically refers to "children born alive").

 

It's extremely unlikely that the child you're looking for would have been given the same first name as an elder child who was still living, but they might well have the same name as a later child. And, of course, there will be a corresponding entry in the death records if the child died as an infant, usually - but not always - in the same registration district.

 

The easiest way to find missing births is by using baptism records - an increasing number are now online thanks to the efforts of Ancestry, Findmypast, FreeREG, and other projects. Even if the child you're looking for wasn't baptised, you can use the records of children who were baptised to eliminate 'possibles' from the birth indexes.

 

Tip: bear in mind the possibility that the child you are looking for was born less than 9 months after the couple married.

 

In the summer a new feature was added to the free Family Tree Analyzer program (written by a LostCousins member) that can help you spot where there are missing children. It's just one of many useful features - it can also help you identify relatives you've omitted from your My Ancestors page, plot your ancestors on a map, spot errors in your tree, and much much more besides.

 

Note: if you have any questions about FT Analyzer please DON'T send them to me - the LostCousins forum is an infinitely better place to get support and advice. Check your My Summary page to see whether you have been invited to join the forum - at the last count nearly 2000 LostCousins members who had been invited to join hadn't registered! Are you one of them?

 

Masterclass: Extending your tree beyond 1911

If your family comes from England or Wales, and you have either a Findmypast.co.uk or Ancestry.co.uk subscription, you'll not only have access to fully transcribed GRO birth, marriage, and death indexes but also to the complete England & Wales 1911 Census. By combining these two resources you'll probably find that you can add dozens of new relatives to your family tree - without spending a penny on certificates!

Here's how I generally go about it:

(1) Where there are married couples on the 1911 Census and the wife is of child-bearing age (typically up to 47) I search the birth indexes for children born to the couple using the family surname and mother's maiden name. The rarer the surnames the more confident I can be about identifying the entries, especially if I also take into account the choice of forenames, the timing of the births, and the districts where the births were registered.

 

Tip: even if the surnames aren't particularly rare, the surname combination might be - a search for marriages where the bride and groom have the same surnames will help you gauge how likely it is that the births you've found belong to your couple.

(2) I then check to see whether I can identify marriages involving relatives who were single in 1911. This is generally only possible when the surnames are fairly uncommon (but see below).

(3) Having identified these post-1911 marriages, or possible marriages, I look in the birth indexes for children born to the couple using the technique described in (1) above. Sometimes the choice of forenames will help to confirm whether or not I've found the right marriage.

(4) I next look for the deaths of the couples whose children I've been seeking. If the precise date of birth is included in the death indexes, as it is for later entries, this often helps to confirm not only that I've found the right death entry, but also - in the case of a female relative - that I've found the right marriage. Even if I don't know exactly when my relative was born, the quarter in which the birth was registered defines a 19 week window (remember that births can be registered up to 6 weeks after the event). Why does this work best for female relatives? Because they will have changed their surname on marriage, so their birth will be registered in one name and the death in another - and there will be a marriage that links the two.

 

Tip: probate calendars can also provide useful clues - often one of the children, or the surviving spouse, will be named as executor or administrator. It's quickest to search at Ancestry, but you can only search from 1858-1966; if you don't have access to Ancestry, or want to search after 1966 you'll need to use the free Probate Service search.

(5) Now I start on the next generation, the children who were recorded in 1911 or whose births I have been able to identify as belonging to my tree. I look for both marriages and deaths, because if I find the death of a female relative recorded under her maiden name, this usually indicates that she didn't marry, and even for a male relative the place of death might help to determine whether a marriage I've found in an unexpected part of the country.

(6) Having identified marriages I then look in the birth indexes for children born to those marriages - and continue this process until either I reach the present day, or I get to a point where I can't tell with reasonable certainty which entries relate to my relatives. Mind you, when it comes to more recent generations there are all sorts of additional sources of information - including social networking sites, Google, searches of the electoral roll (see the next article) or even the phone book (not everyone is ex-directory).

Here are some key dates to bear in mind when searching:

2nd April 1911 - Census Day

1st July 1911 - from this date the mother's maiden name was included in the birth indexes

1st January 1912 - the surname of the spouse was included in the marriage indexes

1st January 1966 - from this date the first two forenames are shown in full in the birth indexes

1st April 1969 - the precise date of birth was included in the death indexes and the first two forenames were shown in full

During the 20th century middle names are more consistent than they were in the 19th century - there is less of a tendency for them to appear or disappear between birth, marriage, and death. Unfortunately, for more than half a century after 1910 only the first forename was shown in full in the birth and death indexes, and the marriage indexes only show one forename for the whole period after 1910 - so a perfect match on the second forename is only possible if the relative was born before 1911 and died after March 1969.

What can you hope to achieve by following the techniques I've described? In my case I've been able to extend some lines forward by as many as four generations, although three is more typical. In the process I've added hundreds of 20th century relatives to my family tree, the majority of whom are still living.

Bear in mind that if you decide to contact a living relative you've identified in this way you're unlikely to find that they share your interest in family history - though there's a fair chance that they'll be able to tell you of someone else in their part of your tree who is doing research. Nevertheless, approach them carefully and thoughtfully - there are so many scams around that some people can be extremely hard to convince, so you shouldn't be offended if the initial exchange is somewhat brusque.

 

Of course, it's usually very different when you find a living relative through LostCousins, because you know they're interested in family history - otherwise they wouldn't have joined, and wouldn't have had the necessary census information.

 

Note: there will often be other resources that you can draw upon, including parish registers (some online collections extended beyond 1911), newspaper announcements (iannounce

is good for recent events, the British Newspaper Archive - also at Findmypast - for early 20th century events). Burials recorded at Deceased Online are another great source (for example, there may be other family members in the same grave). Historic Phone Directories up to 1984 are online at Ancestry. Ancestry and Findmypast each have historic Electoral Rolls for certain parts of the country

 

Finding living relatives in the Electoral Roll

At one time you had to pay to search the UK Electoral Register at Findmypast, even if you had a subscription - now this valuable feature is included in both the Britain and World subscriptions. However, until a few months ago there was another problem - you couldn't search using middle names or initials, which made it very hard to find people with forename-surname combinations.

 

Tip: some records give full middle names, most give only the initial; as long as you tick the 'name variants' box (it's ticked by default) you'll find both when you search using the full middle name. Sometimes an initial will be shown in the search results even though the record shows the full middle name(s).

 

The database covers the period 2002-14, but many of the results you get will be for 2002, with no later records in the database. This isn't a fault - it's because after 2002 it was possible to opt out of the published Electoral Register. Fortunately people haven't moved house as frequently in recent years, so you'll often find that the 2002 address is still current. Where a range of years is shown this relates to the person you searched for - other occupants listed may not have lived there for the entire period.

 

Where you see several different surnames in a household this can indicate a shared house, but it can also indicate a care home or similar residential facility. Googling the address will often help you to discriminate between the two.

 

Often an 'Age guide' is shown - this seems to be present age, rather than age in 2002 (or whenever). It isn't always accurate, but when it is, it helps to reduce the number of search results.

 

Half-price subscriptions to British Newspaper Archive

Until Sunday 4th January you can buy an Annual subscription to the British Newspaper Archive for half-price - just 39.98

 

Whilst you can also access the same 9.4 million pages (and probably in excess of 100 million articles) through Findmypast*, the Search feature at the British Newspaper Archive site is much more flexible, especially if your interests extend beyond family history.

 

To take advantage of this offer click here and use the code XMASDEAL

 

* if you have a Britain subscription you won't be able to access the Irish newspapers in the collection; for that you need a World subscription

 

Tip: at the British Newspaper Archive you can buy Gift subscriptions

 

Search Valuation Rolls free at ScotlandsPeople

One of the things I dislike about the ScotlandsPeople site is the way they charge users to view search results (the other is the fact that it's pay-per-view only - there is no subscription option).

 

But until 6th January, when you search the Valuation Rolls from 1875-1925 you'll be able to browse the search results pages free of charge - and to be fair, there is quite a lot of useful information in the search results, as you can see from this example, which shows just 4 of the 11200 results I got when I searched for the surname 'Mackenzie':

 

 

I've heard a rumour that Scotlandspeople are seriously considering introducing subscriptions - let's hope there's some truth in it, because it will transform Scottish research!

 

Tip: you don't need to use up your ScotlandsPeople credits in order to enter relatives from the 1881 Scotland census on your My Ancestors page - there is a transcription of the census at Ancestry (Findmypast also has transcriptions of the Scottish censuses, but currently they don't include the references) .

 

England & Wales wills after 1858: latest news

There are a couple of problems affecting the new online will ordering service which haven't affected me (yet), but might affect you.

 

LostCousins member David recently pointed out on the Society of Genealogists mailing list that because of inconsistencies between the pre-1996 and post-1996 systems it is impossible to find wills where the person died before 1996, but probate was not granted until 1996 or later. Another member, Sheila, wrote to point out that there are problems using the pre-1996 search on an iPad.

 

A more general problem seems to be that, because the Probate Calendars are ordered according to the date of probate, you need to specify the year of probate rather than the year of death (even though the search form invites you to enter the latter, as you can see:

 

 

Otherwise the system seems to working pretty well - and it's very handy to be able to look up dates of death for people who died after 1966 (the last year in Ancestry's collection of Probate Calendars). A search costs nothing: if you decide to order a will then the cost is 10, which can be paid by credit card (something that was not possible under the old postal service).

 

House of Lords discuss electronic BMD certificates

Baroness Scott of Needham Market, a Liberal Democrat life peer, recently put forward a proposal for electronic versions of birth, marriage and death certificates - basically what we've been asking for all along. She is quoted by Who Do You Think You Are? magazine as saying "The one group of people in this country who could really use this service much more extensively are those, like me, who are researching their family history". (Thanks to Lesley for drawing my attention to the article.)

 

As far as I can see Baroness Scott isn't a LostCousins member, but there's a free subscription waiting should she decide to join us!

 

Note: Baroness Scott was on a House of Lords committee which produced a report about GRO reform in 2004, so it's clearly not a passing fad (you can download a PDF copy here).

 

How Kathie knocked down a 'brick wall'

Kathie wrote to me recently with a story that you might find interesting:

 

I recently got a reminder that breaking down a brick wall often requires research outwards and forwards, not just backwards. My ancestor Richard Barnes, a shoemaker, lived in the tiny hamlet of Bolton in the parish of Bishop Wilton, East Yorkshire. I knew from the 1841 census and his death in 1847 that he was born around 1801-2 in Yorkshire, but had no clue where, and there were no records for any Barnes in Bishop Wilton or nearby Fangfoss before Richard's marriage. There were no clues from his wife either.

 

After I got a Findmypast subscription I noticed a baptism of the right date in Moor Monkton, North Yorkshire, about 18 miles from Bolton on the other side of York. I was sceptical that it was the right Richard because the names my Richard used for his childen did not resemble the Moor Monkton family at all, and Moor Monkton had never featured in my research - but there was no trace of that Richard anywhere else so I persevered in tracing the marriages, census records and burials of all Moor Monkton Richard's siblings. Hey presto, his brother Benjamin was buried in Moor Monkton but his abode was given as Bolton, Bishop Wilton.

 

It was also a reminder to always check the original records, not rely on transcripts - the transcript for Benjamin's burial on Findmypast did not give his abode but luckily they had had an image of the Bishop's Transcript.

 

It's easy to panic, or just give up altogether when we're faced with a 'brick wall' - but Kathie's cool-headed research certainly paid off. When you're faced with a 'brick wall' try to come up with a strategy - running around like a headless chicken rarely leads to a successful conclusion!

 

Serendipity

Sometimes we need a bit of luck to make a breakthrough - but we also have to grab those opportunities when they arise. Linda's story involves an amazing coincidence - but if she hadn't been so alert the opportunity might easily have passed her by:

 

Last June my husband was watching a television programme which he had recorded about how the Wild West was won. Initially I had no intention of watching it, but found it quite interesting when they were explaining the difficulties of the "homesteaders" who journeyed over the plains to the west. During one particular journey a woman died in childbirth in the middle of "nowhere", and they showed a memorial stone with her name - Charlotte Dansie. "Stop!" I shouted - what an advantage stop and rewind is - "I have Dansies on my tree". I read the very detailed memorial inscription carefully - yes, born in Suffolk, married 8 Apr 1849. I then opened up my family tree program to check - yes, dates agreed. I had no idea that they had emigrated. Some discoveries do turn up in unexpected places!

 

1871 Worldwide British Army Index

Last week Findmypast released their 1871 Worldwide British Army Index, which includes many soldiers who would have been overseas at the time of the 1871 Census (and therefore not recorded in the census); it might also enable you to find soldiers who, whilst based in Britain and recorded on the census, can't be easily identified because of transcription or other errors.

 

Compiled using the WO10, WO11, and WO12 series of War Office pay lists held at the National Archives it has over 200,000 entries, of which more than 36,000 have additional notations. You can search the records here.

 

Football and World War 1

Exactly one hundred years ago British and German soldiers declared an unofficial truce before playing football in No Man's Land. Or did they? There's a website dedicated to the Christmas Truce which sets out the evidence. I thought this BBC article was also very interesting.

 

What is irrefutable is that during the Great War women's football took off back in Britain, with enormous crowds drawn to matches. Play continued after the war, with an amazing crowd of 53,000 recorded at a Boxing Day match (another 14,000 turned up, but couldn't get in) - yet the following year women's football was banned by the Football Association, a ban that lasted until 1971. You can read more about this in an article on the BBC website.

 

The 'Deaf and Dumb Wedding' of 1940

I found this BBC article fascinating - not just the story, but the way that 70 years later the BBC decided to track down relatives of the couple.

 

Which reminds me, my wife and I eventually got around to watching The Artist - the 'silent' movie that won 5 Oscars, including Best Picture. Why on earth did we leave it so long - it's one of the best films I've ever seen!

 

Charles Dickens had his own postbox

It wouldn't be Christmas without a mention of Charles Dickens! A BBC article recently described how Charles Dickens successfully lobbied for a postbox to be installed in the wall outside his house in Kent - and as over 14,000 letters written by Dickens are known of, the box was clearly well-used.

 

Mind you, there's something strange about the Dickens correspondence chosen to illustrate the article - can you spot what it is?

 

Your Family Tree taken over - but by whom?

I've been a subscriber to Your Family Tree since Issue 1, so I was surprised to discover only by accident that the magazine had been sold by Future Publishing to Immediate, who already publish Who Do You Think You Are? magazine.

 

But Immediate aren't going to keep YFT, which is just one of a portfolio of magazines they purchased - for regulatory reasons they're going to sell it on, possibly to Dennis Publishing.

 

Let's hope that whoever ends up as the owner, the quality of the magazine isn't affected!

 

Peter's Tips

This morning I was the bearer of glad tidings - I was able to tell Steve, who lives in Sussex, that he had won 1st Prize in my Christmas Competition (a World subscription generously donated by Findmypast.co.uk) and Anita, who lives in Australia, that she had won 2nd Prize (a copy of Family Historian version 6, kindly donated by Simon Orde, the program's author).

 

The response to the competition was amazing - nearly 1000 members took part, and between them they entered over 40000 relatives on their My Ancestors pages during the competition period. There are also 10 runners-up prizes (of LostCousins subscriptions); I'll be notifying the winners over the Christmas period.

 

If you're over 65 and live in the UK the Pensioner Bonds that will be available from January offer a great rate of return: 2.8% for one year, or 4% for three years. Unfortunately they'll be sold out long before I reach my 65th birthday in the autumn.....

 

Remember that if you live in the EU the price of ebooks is going to shoot up on 1st January (unless you're fortunate enough to live in Luxembourg). When I listed the books last time I somehow forgot one of my favourites, A Habit of Dying by DJ Wiseman.

 

 

I've set up a special Christmas Offers page which you can find here - I'll keep updating it as new offers are announced since I'm not sure when the next newsletter will be published. For example, I've just added details of the Boxing Day sale at Amazon.

 

Stop Press

I've added the surprise Ancestry.co.uk offer and updated the Findmypast offer.

 

As this could well be the final newsletter of 2014, allow me to wish you a Happy New Year!

 

Description: Description: peter_signature

 

Peter Calver

Founder, LostCousins

 

Copyright 2014 Peter Calver

 

You MAY link to this newsletter or email a link to your friends and relatives without asking for permission in advance - but why not invite them to join instead?