Hows your father? - November 2016

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Hows your father? - November 2016

Post by mardler »

Hello everyone.

Dramatic month for UK genealogy
November was notable for those with British interests for three major reasons:
1 - FindMyPast suddenly opened up a large number of new records in the 1939 census. Without going into too much detail the Register was maintained as the basis for the UK National Health Service from 1949 up until 1990. Given British laws about confidentiality, only those who had died before 1990 and those whose year of birth was 1916 or before were available. However, dates of birth have been available on public death indexes since 1990. So FMP did some analysis matching up birthdates for those who died after 1990 with the dates in the 1939 Register and has opened a whole lot more. Have they got it perfectly right? No, but they have tried, and good for them!
2 - the General Register Office in England and Wales has released a new transcript of birth and death registers and also started releasing copies of the original registers at a reduced rate. Please see our new web page on "un-certificates" here: for a description of what they have done and how we are using them.
3 - as many people will have read, during the month a new Dictionary of British surnames was published. If you didn't see it, here's a good example of a press mention: ... d-ireland/. We have a copy of the entries for Howes, House and Howse (and are credited by them as a source) and will put up a webpage about their findings soon.

Howes in the News
Every day in my google news feed, I get a mention of a Howes sporting success somewhere in the world. While important to the families concerned, they're hardly worth bringing to a wider audience, but just once in a while something special comes up. So I present to you one Ethan-Beau Howes of Colchester in England who, while disabled himself, is an active sportsman and has encouraged many other young children to take up sport, to the point where he has won an award for doing so. I really liked the closing paragraphs where his teacher said he was quite shy and withdrawn until taking up sport. Great story. My usual question: does anyone know this family, please? ... _1_4790522.
For the HOUSEs among us, I do apologize for the lack of news but until we can reliably separate House the name from House the noun, googling House just isn't going to get useful results.

Our thanks go to correspondents Bob Plumridge of the Greenleaf One-Name Study who sent in no less than ten certificates from his own family history collection and some pictures and articles referring to William John House, VC, a distant relation of his.
And our very warmest thanks indeed to correspondent Bob . . . (not sure whether you want to be named, Bob) . . . who has paid for a further batch of ten certificates on top of, I believe a dozen prior, enabling us to bring together more splintered parts of our research into a more cohesive whole. Thank you, Bob.
Thanks to Bob, and several other subsribers, our certificates wanted list is at its shortest level in over 5 years. If you'd like to help us shorten it further, we'd be most grateful!

Monthly Progress report
This month we were very busy and added over 1,750 new records - I suppose it is new-found enthusiasm as the winter sets in! We now have over 115,000 people in our database. Lest anyone think that we are only concentrating on new people, let me say that during the month we altered records of almost over 1,400 people beyond the 1,750 above! (I don't count them - Family Historian maintains a date last altered for each person, which you can actually see on each person's record.
Re longer-term progress, you may recall that I measure the number of UK marriages between 1837 and 1950, of which there are over 23,850. I'm pleased to say that we now know the parties to over 70% of those marriages, which mark we passed during the month. We are definitely "on the down slope" now.
Why do I focus so much on this period? Two reasons:
1) our names are primarily English in origin. We want to go back farther toward the names' origins but we do not want to go back and find we have built a House on shaky foundations!
2) this is the period for which we have the best data. We do make occasional mistakes to be sure but they are a lot easier to find and correct. Best to correct this data before we try going back farther.

All the best for the various holidays over the next month.
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