Monday 15 April 2013

Website update - May 2013

My apologies for the delay in this latest website update. I know that many of you follow the blog, and use the website for their research, even if we haven’t been in contact. This is due to a number of personal reason as well as trying to do too many things at the same time and not just with the Halstead research.

My aim from now on is to update the website on the first weekend on every month so that you can plan your next visit. If you do find any mistakes then please let me know. Better still if you can add more information to what is already there. Have you broken a brick wall that we have? or have you progressed a family further back?

So what has been going on in the world that affects the Halstead research?

I have spent some time re-organising behind the scenes the vast amount of information that has been accumulated over the years, much of it by the Trust's benefactor Ray Lewis-Jones. Unfortunately Ray never had a proper filing system and finding anything was like opening Pandora’s Box. All of it has been scanned but I recently came across some more material that had slipped the net and now needs to be added.

I have also been re-organising the vast collection of digital copies of certificates, wills, etc that I have. The details of the birth, marriage and death certificates that we have are already listed on the website. I plan in the next month to add a page detailing the people for whom we have copies of their wills.

The major websites of Ancestry and findmypast continue to add new material at a rate that it higher than I can keep up with at times! A lot of this material is parish registers and therefore of great interest as a lot of it comes complete with images of the originals.

findmypast now has material from the Canterbury Cathedral Archives, Cheshire, Hertfordshire, Manchester, Plymouth and West Devon, Westminster and of course all of the Welsh parishes. Of interest to the Halstead research is that they announced at Who Do You Think You Are Live in 2013 that they have won the contract to digitise, transcribe and put online the material in the Yorkshire Digitisation Consortium, which comprises six archives but not West Yorkshire. when this will be remains to be seen but I will update you as soon as I know.

Ancestry have recently added the Lancashire Archives, based in Preston, to their list of archives with material online with them. However the quality of the transcripts and linking of the images does leave a little to be desired at times. This is only the first pass of the process and I usually wait for the major update before I have a look at it. the current material there seems only to cover the parishes that are available in microfilm or microfiche formats in the archives themselves. This now means that Ancestry now has parish records online (with original images) for the London Metropolitan Archives, Liverpool, Manchester, West Riding Yorkshire, Dorset, Warwickshire (but not Birmingham) and Wiltshire.