Hello everyone. This month we added another 800 people to our database and ended up just shy of 108,000 people in total. I also keep track of the number of "facts" in our database and note that we added 6,000, which shows me that we are adding a large amount of information to existing people, not just new people. So if you've not checked recently what we are showing for your relatives, do take another look, just in case. A good proportion of these facts come from the recently released 1939 Register from the UK, which we have started to add in, now it's available at no extra charge to our FindMyPast subscriptions.
OK, who was it?
Does anyone know who made the HOWES shaped pile of rocks on the side of Montaña Roja on the island of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands? Look carefully right in the middle of the picture below the skyline. Correspondent John Howes saw it recently on a visit there.
SOMEONE put quite a lot of effort into that and they presumably told their friends about it. It's a reasonable assumption that their name was Howes! Anyone have a clue?
Do you have ancestors from Durham who were adults in WW2?
If so, do check out the UK National Archives. They've just released a unique set of service records for the Home Guard in that county. The Home Guard were (generally) younger or older men who stayed at home and protected their local area through a variety of tasks. Perhaps you have seen Dad's Army? That was the Home Guard. The men's service records are available for download, but the record summaries include the man's unit and date of birth. We've been able to identify all 13 or so Howes, Howse and House men listed without paying a thing. Whether Howes or not, if you have ancestors from that part of the world you might consider downloading their record for a small fee. For the search function, go to:
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help ... 1939-1945/
Do you have Irish Ancestors?
If so, you have to check out FindMyPast. They've recently added parish records for Catholics to their already extensive Irish data collection, which is way better than any other provider. There are even dog licence records available from which you can locate some details about the pet's owner. I did go to a presentation recently where the presenter was similarly positive about FMP's Irish collection, though he added that it's worth searching FamilySearch in parallel to FMP as sometimes the transcriptions are different and sometimes one record set has detail the other does not.
How did I notice this new record set? The first one I found was a reference in the Irish baptism register to a marriage 20-odd years later, which included date and place . . . in Manchester, England. Now that was one diligent priest!
Is there anyone with Irish ancestry who might help us by picking out all the Howes/House references and trying to build a few families for us to add to the rather limited data we already have?
A notable passing
2016 is only one quarter done and already we have lost a huge number of well-known people: David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Johan Cruyff, Ronnie Corbett, Terry Wogan, Patty Duke, Nancy Reagan and Gary Shandling. Another sad recent loss to the world was Paul Daniels. Paul is in our database because his wife and on-stage assistant, Debbie McGee is the daughter of a Howes. I grew up watching the man perform magic tricks on BBC and he really was magic at it. If you don't know who Paul Daniels was, a lot of his work is now reproduced on youtube. See this one, for example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gd0Z5IjpDJA
Opportunity to meet
For me personally, it's been a busy month, as I am preparing for the Annual General Meeting of the Guild of One-Name Studies. By complete happenstance, we booked the Hilton Hotel at the NEC in Birmingham, England for our conference, the same location being used for the Who Do You Think You Are? Live show just four days later (April 7 - 9). So I only need to make one trip! If you are in the Birmingham area and will visit WDYTYA?, please do stop by the Guild stand and say hello. I'm not speaking this year so should be at the Guild stand most of the time. My thanks in advance to John and Sue Howes who live nearby and are putting me up for a few days.
Practice safe computing
I also had a dreadful computer virus which the good folks at Microsoft in Jacksonville fixed for me, though I lost use of my PC for three days just before I left Florida. I then got the virus back again within 24 hours. I think the virus was embedded in a PDF file sent to me by someone I knew and hence I trusted it. I installed some software which protected me from its effects for a few days (see malwarebytes.com) but eventually my PC gave up the ghost and would not even reboot. Thankfully, a local PC shop-owner here in Norfolk fixed it for me while I waited and, touch wood, things have been OK for a few days.
Moral: be careful with all file attachments. And when you do get a problem, go to someone who uses their judgement and skill, not someone who runs a corporate-prepared software. Or, just buy an Apple!
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